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Staff Favorites - Jeffrey Markavage

Jeffrey Markavage
Jeffrey Markavage  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service


2014 Aldrich Browne "Perli Vineyard" Mendocino Ridge Syrah
Review Date: 07-24-2019
The 2014 Aldrich Browne “Perli Vineyard” Syrah is a cool climate Syrah lover's dream. I get loads of blackberry, blueberry, boysenberry, and even huckleberry (just for the Montana folk). The winemaker gets dark chocolate and coffee notes, so I’ll include them in this review. The '14 has a light to medium tannins, medium to low abv, minimal r.s. and light oak. Just balanced and easy drinking. If you’re looking for an extracted, sweet, or grippy Syrah, then this might not be it. Overall, this is a very nice and reasonably priced Syrah coming out of Mendocino Ridge.
Price: $34.95 Add To Cart

Wine Club


2016 Aequorea "Seafarer" San Luis Obispo County Pinot Noir
Review Date: 07-01-2019
Surfer/winemaker Aaron Jackson from Aaron Wines brings us his new Pinot Noir collection under the label Aequorea. Literally translating to “Of The Sea”, the name is well suited to his vineyard sites which are all no more than 6 miles from the Pacific. The 2016 “Seafarer” is a blend of four distinct vineyards along the San Luis Obispo County coast and is nothing but voluptuous and crowd-pleasing in style. Surprisingly ripe despite the coastal proximity this Pinot shows notes of bright Bing Cherry, plum and bit of spice. Overall this a solid wine from an up and coming winemaker.
Price: $32.95 Add To Cart

2014 Jonata "Todos" Ballard Canyon Santa Ynez Valley Red Blend
Review Date: 07-01-2019
Matt Dees, arguably the most talented winemaker along the Center Coast, delivers yet again with his 2014 “Todos” Ballard Canyon red blend. It’s as if the Rhone and Bordeaux met and took the best qualities from each other to make this unique offering. Initially, this wine reveals wonderful Rhone characteristics of wild game, red peppercorn and cured meat. A bit of air brings out Bordeaux, with chocolate, raspberry, leather and cigar box. Overall this is an amazing wine from a producer that knows how to utilize each of the 7 varietals in a way that few can.

2017 Hartford Court Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 06-25-2019
Wow indeed! This is a classic example of the effusive aromatics found in many high-end Russian River Valley Pinot’s. Hartford’s 2017 Pinot delivers clean, fresh and primary fruit all wonderfully balanced with lively acidity. The nose is full of plum, lavender, cola, and brambly undertones. I can safely say that this wine is drinking as good or better than anything twice the price.
Price: $29.95 Add To Cart

2016 Alexana "Terroir Series" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 06-25-2019
I think this is a great example of what Willamette Valley pinot noir could become due to warmer ripening seasons. While it still has spicy and earthy qualities that you might expect from your Oregon Pinot's, it is slightly fruitier and flashier. The nose brings a beautiful array of muddled cranberry, plum, and rich kirsch liqueur. The back end is full of chewy yet supple tannins that linger long after drinking. Overall this a killer wine that I know will move quickly.
Price: $29.95 Add To Cart

2016 Turnbull Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-23-2019
Turnbull is definitely up there as one of my favorite wineries in the Napa Valley. The winery can easily be looked past among its Disneyland neighbors along the highway 29 stretch; but if you like deeply structured, rich and well-balanced Cabs Turnbull is the place for you. It also doesn't hurt that they have the sexiest labels in the business. The 2016 Napa Valley Cab is full of blackberries, cassis, and smoky spices. While young, this wine is still approachable, soo don't be afraid to open one tonight with a hearty red meat dish!
Price: $44.95 Add To Cart

2017 Deovlet "La Encantada Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Blanc
Review Date: 06-03-2019
If had to pick one AVA to spend the rest of my time in it would be Santa Rita Hills. Unfortunately, there isn’t a great deal of production for varietals outside of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Even though I absolutely love Pinot and Chard it is nice to mix things up. When I tried Deovlet's Pinot Blanc and I was in heaven. Coming from La Encantada vineyard in the south side of the region, this wine delivers classic diatomaceous S.R.H minerality and freshness. Flint, pear, honeysuckle, jasmine, and melon are all directed by racy laser-focused acidity. I’m not sure what I meant by that.. but I sure love this wine!
Price: Hidden View Price

2017 Rudd Estate "Crossroads" Mt. Veeder Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 05-31-2019
Wow! I could not have been more excited to try this wine and it delivered in every way imaginable. Coming from a tiny organic vineyard 1600 ft up Mt. Veeder, the 2017 “Crossroads” is essentially declassified Estate Sauvignon Blanc that goes for twice the price. The yields are very low, of which 40% is fermented in concrete egg and the rest in neutral oak. The nose is full of white peach, nectarine, pineapple, jasmine and other floral descriptors that I don’t even know the names of. The wine is rich and juicy with an almost effervescent mouthfeel. It's that good. Try it out!
Price: $34.95 Add To Cart

2017 Larner "Transverse" Santa Barbara County Syrah
Review Date: 05-31-2019
Larner continues to be one of my favorite producers from the central coast. The 2017 “Transverse” Syrah from Santa Barbara County uses partial carbonic maceration, whole clusters, and all native yeast. Winemaker Michael Larner does an amazing job hiding the 14.7% alcohol; a testament to his skill making Syrah. The wine is light on its feet, crisp and loaded with bright blue fruit. This is a high-quality Syrah at an amazing price. Worth a look!
Price: $24.95 Add To Cart

2015 Zeitgeist Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-31-2019
For those of you looking for a modern, flashy and sexy Napa Cab this is it. Jen Williams, previously with Spottswoode, does a wonderful job showcasing the Cab varietal and then bringing to the next level. Her 2015 Cab is sourced from 3 premier Napa vineyards including Farella, Lewelling and Sleeping Lady. It's concentrated, ripe and loaded with mouth-filling tannins. Notes of blue/black fruit, scorched earth, and cassis are expressed beautifully. If Jen's wines aren't already on your radar, they should be.

2017 Coquelicot Estate Santa Ynez Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-28-2019
This is a great example of when Cabernet Sauvignon isn’t over extracted, flashy, oaky and manipulated. Coquelicot’s 2017 Cab has an old school feel with elegant and savory characteristics. Although young, it is still very approachable if given some airtime. Notes of cocoa, white pepper, and fresh forest berries emanate from the glass. It also happens to be inexpensive and super food friendly for a cab. Great stuff!
Price: Hidden View Price

2018 Halcyon Wines Contra Costa County Blanc of Cabernet Franc
Review Date: 05-27-2019
Tyler and Kim Elwell from Halcyon wines are known for their exclusive use of the Cabernet Franc varietal. Instead of making a rose with the Cab Franc grapes, Tyler and Kim Decided to press the skins directly, hence the Blanc of the Franc. The result is a tropical, stone fruit and mineral driven wine with an amazingly clean mouthfeel. This wine is 100% quaffable and sure to be a crowd pleaser at any summer dinner party.
Price: $19.95 Add To Cart

2017 Rootdown "St. Amant Vineyard" Amador County Trousseau
Review Date: 05-21-2019
Wow! This is a very fun and different wine, to say the least. Rootdown’s 2017 trousseau is almost pale in color and contains enough alcohol to keep me sober after 2 bottles. (10.6%) The grapes are grown on volcanic soils giving the wine great ashy minerality. The nose has a very distinctive underripe cranberry characteristic along with white pepper and herbs. The mouthfeel is crisp but not tart with just enough tannin to give it volume without any astringency. Wine geek alert! 70 % carbonic ferment. 30% whole cluster fermented in neutral oak.
Price: $29.95 Add To Cart

2017 Coquelicot Estate Santa Ynez Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 05-21-2019
Winemaker Mike Roth for Coquelicot (ko-klee-ko) does a wonderful job with his 2017 Estate Sauvignon Blanc. Coming from Santa Ynez Valley, the vines are perched on sandy soils with diatomaceous elements. As a result, the wine takes on wonderful briny, minerally and light floral characteristics. The salty acidity and clean texture gives you endless food pairing options or just simply used as an aperitif.
Price: Hidden View Price

2018 Frog's Leap "La Grenouille Rougante" Napa Valley Rosé
Review Date: 04-27-2019
This is nice easy-drinking rosé that will go well with a warm spring day. Watermelon rinds and bubble gum are just a few things that come to mind after sipping this well-known Napa producer's rosé. The 2018 has lower alcohol, good acid, and full of fleshy pink fruit.
Price: $19.95 Add To Cart

2016 Caraccioli "Escolle Vineyard" Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
Review Date: 04-27-2019
Caraccioli is one of my favorite producers from the Santa Lucia Highlands. Their tasting room, located in downtown Carmel by the Sea, is super fun and I would highly recommend checking them out. Now to the wine. The 2016 Estate Pino Noir from Escolle Vineyard is stunning. When I think of a sexy wine, this is it. The nose is full of lavender, maraschino cherries, cola and a touch of spice. Amazingly clean, silky and vibrant, Caraccioli has everything you want from central coast Pinot.
Price: $44.95 Add To Cart

2017 Arterberry Maresh Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 04-27-2019
It's always fun to find a domestic Pinot Noir that’s a little different from the rest. The 2017 Arterberry Maresh is more Burgundian than anything else with its low alcohol content (12.5%), high acid and earthy/savory profile. The 2017 is almost pale in color but delivers a mouthful of flavor that lingers on the palate. If Karen Macneil were writing this review she might use the word ethereal describe this wine. The grapes are grown on red and rich volcanic Jory soil commonly found in the Dundee Hills AVA. This unique element of terroir is expressed beautifully in Arterberry Maresh’s 2017 Pinot. I highly recommend trying this Oregon gem.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

2018 Sandhi California Pinot Noir Rosé
Review Date: 04-27-2019
This is a great choice for those looking for a bone-dry rosé in a less fruit forward style. The nose is somewhat spicy with a hint of red currant, white pepper, and watermelon rind. The palate has an astringent component, almost as if you were to bite into the pithy part of grapefruit. It's subtle, but with its well-balanced acidity, this rosé will work wonders with a fattier fish dish. Fish & chips might be too good...
Price: $22.95 Add To Cart

2018 Bonny Doon "Vin Gris de Cigare" Central Coast Rosé
Review Date: 04-27-2019
Year in and year out, Bonny Doon delivers one of the best domestic rosés at a fantastic price. The 2018 “Vin Gris de Cigare” is no exception and is sure to be the go-to picnic/summer party wine. Similar to previous vintages, 2018 is classic Provence in style with bone-dry minerality and a light pink color. The nose is full of dried red berries, herbs and grapefruit. This is a great food wine and 100% quaffable. Enjoy!
Price: $14.95 Add To Cart

2018 Limerick Lane Russian River Valley GSM Rosé
Review Date: 04-27-2019
Limerick Lane did a wonderful job this year with their 2018 Russian River Valley Rosé. The 2018 consists of 63% Syrah, 24% Mourvedre, and 13% Grenache. Out of all new domestic rosés that we’ve tried, this GSM is the most fun and different for me. The bouquet opens with cool notes of strawberries and cream mixed with wet stones. The palate is quite savory and finishes amazingly dry. With the Syrah and Mourvedre comes a gamy element with a slight bite on the back end. This is a great rosé for those looking for something that can stand on its own or pair well with a variety of cuisines.
Price: $22.95 Add To Cart

2015 RAMA (Mario Bazán) Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-02-2019
After 35 years of experience growing grapes, Mario Bazan decided to jump into winemaking. The 2015 “Rama” Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon absolutely delivers and showcases how great wines start in the field. His Cab doesn’t feel manipulated or masked by high amounts of oak and sweetness, rather, a pure expression of fruit is represented. The nose is super inviting with hints of tobacco leaf, coriander, raspberry, and red bell pepper. This an elegant and beautifully balanced wine that will force you to pause and appreciate someone’s craft.
Price: Hidden View Price

2017 Brea Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay
Review Date: 03-25-2019
If you’re looking for a hippie-dippy wine for your vegan friend living in Santa Cruz, then look no further.. Organic, Biodynamic, Natural, less than 10 PPM Sulfur, you get the idea.. Having said that, the 2017 Brea Chardonnay is an awesome wine that everyone will appreciate. The 17 comes from La Estancia Vineyard within the Santa Lucia Highlands and uses vines planted in the early 1970’s. This wine presents unique aromatics of aloe, honeydew melon and cucumber. Lively acidity, fleshy mouthfeel, good times. I guarantee this is one of the best 15$ wines you’re going to find from the Santa Lucia Highlands. Snag a few!
Price: $15.95 Add To Cart

2016 Copain "Tous Ensemble" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 03-19-2019
Aww so fresh and so clean! The 2016 “Tous Ensemble” Sonoma Coast Chardonnay delivers a snappy, juicy and vibrant experience that will surely make any chardonnay lover happy. Tous Ensemble refers to a classic blend of fruit sourced from select vineyards throughout Mendocino County. The Tous Ensemble goes through full malolactic fermentation but isn’t buttery or creamy in the slightest. Pretty aromatics of jasmine, white blossom, hazelnuts and lemon zest mix with lively acidity. Overall this a great food friendly chardonnay that will get the party moving in the early hours..
Price: Hidden View Price

2016 Auteur "Green Acres Vineyard" Carneros Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 03-05-2019
This is a seriously good Chardonnay from Auteur Wines! The 2016 comes from Green Acres Vineyard, located between salt plains and metamorphic foothills within the coolest maritime valley of Carneros. This site yields mineral rich vibrancy and California sunshine. The appellation benefits from rocky, well-drained soils and signature afternoon winds. Using an old Wente clone, this chard shows off a rich texture from the high skin to juice ratio and full Malolactic fermentation. I’m not afraid to draw comparisons to Grand Cru Burgundy based on the pallet weight, density, and depth of fruit. I get aromas honeysuckle, Jasmin, beeswax and stone fruit. Amazing stuff. Hop on it.
Price: $49.95 Add To Cart

2017 Lúuma (AKA Wine Co.) Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 03-01-2019
If you’re looking for a fun and interesting wine that doesn’t fall neatly into any category than this is the wine for you. The 2017 Luuma Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is a party in a glass. Coming in at 12.5% it has an aromatic profile and texture of a Grenache blanc or even a Gewurztraminer. I get loads of tropical fruit with mixed with honeysuckle and Jasmin flower. If you’re a Chardonnay lover I promise this will still be up your alley. The 17 is very fresh, clean and bright with no apparent oak. Oh and the best part… Scribe winery makes it and I can afford it!
Price: $19.95 Add To Cart

2016 D'Archambeau, Graves
Review Date: 02-04-2019
This is very interesting sub-$15 Bordeaux coming from the end of the Graves region between Barsac and Cerons. The soil is a mixture of gravel and clay on limestone which I think really shines through in the wine. The '16 D’Archambeau is composed of 45% Cab, 50% Merlot and 5% Cab Franc. Strong pyrazine characteristics jump right out the glass, making me think of fresh green bell pepper, tomato vine, and thyme. There are fresh primary fruit aspects but more on the brambly side of things. Light to medium tannins. Good acid. Good drinking.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2017 Pax "Sonoma-Hillsides" Sonoma County Syrah
Review Date: 01-07-2019
Wow, what a mouthful of flavor this wine provides! If you weren't ready this wine would knock you over just from holding the glass. For their 2017 Sonoma County Syrah, Pax Mahle uses 100% whole cluster for the fermentation in concrete. As a result, there is no shortage of nice chewy brambly fruit that will leave your taste buds in heaven. Because of the whole cluster inclusion, the alcohol stays in check at about 12.9%. The 2016 received a perfect score and I expect something similar with the 2017 vintage. Read Mr. Whoodhouse's review for more detail
Price: Hidden View Price

2014 The Paring (Jonata) Red Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 11-25-2018
Matt Dees, also the winemaker for the Hilt and Jonata wines, runs the show for the Paring label. Fruit that doesn't make into his other two labels goes into the paring. Most of time it is the same so you end up with very similar wine that's a fraction of the cost. This Santa Ynez blend is without question one of the best value under 25$ wines that we have. The 2014 opens up with a beautiful bouquet of green pepper, earthy spices and leather. Long finish, good acid, good times. Buy two because the first will be consumed quickly.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

Antech Blanquette de Limoux Brut Nature
Review Date: 10-30-2018
I can't possibly write a better review than my colleague below (christina) so I'll keep this short. Bright, lively, bone dry and full of citrus. Tell your friends its a 30$+ bottle and they'll believe it. Great party starter that gives you more money to spend on oysters and crab.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

La Petite Marquise Crémant de Loire Brut
Review Date: 09-30-2018
Goodbye Cooks hello Deligeroy! If only everyone knew that you could get a great bottle of bubbles for the same price as the stuff the makes your head palpitate the next morning. I get beautiful notes of tropical fruit, honeycomb, and apple. Maybe even apple pie... I'll have to consult Kirk below.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart