Stowells Wine Merchants

Haden Fig

Juliette Chardonnay 2018

Not your typical Cali chard. Floral aromas. Lots of tart jackfruit with apple/pear. Minimal oak. From Wine Merchants Best of the West 4.10.21. — a month ago

Andrew, Lars and 1 other liked this
Billy L.

Billy L.

Oregon Winery that flys under the radar; QPR wines for sure! Cheers

Taittinger

Comtes de Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne Chardonnay 2007

David T
9.5

Well...this was one hell of a week. There is only one way to wind it down. Reach for an excellent bottle of vintage Champagne.

My first thoughts are how delicate this is on the palate. Further, how unbelievable it will be with another 8-10 years in bottle.

The nose shows; slightly sour lemon, the good parts of lemon Pledge, lemon meringue, white stone fruits, pineapple fresh with lots of juice, grapefruit, lime pulp, honeysuckle, soft, haunting caramel, brioche, limestone & slightly, dirty, grey volcanics, saline, sea fossils, sea spray, bread dough, vanilla, white spices-light ginger with spring flowers, mixed floral greens & lilies.

The body is light on its feet and dances on the palate. Delicacy abounds. Its soft, gorgeous mousse right there with the best money can buy. Slightly sour lemon, lemon meringue, green & with more bruised golden apple, white stone fruits, pineapple fresh with lots of juice, grapefruit, lime pulp, touch of apple cider, honeysuckle, soft, haunting caramel, ginger ale into cream soda, brioche, nougat, toffee notes, lighter nuts without skin, limestone & slightly, dirty, grey volcanics, saline, sea fossils, sea spray, bread dough, vanillin, marzipan, white spices-light ginger with spring flowers, mixed floral greens & lilies. The acidity is mellow yet lively, gorgeous and as good as it gets. The finish is all luxury. So well knitted & balanced, elegant, rich but not overpowering and gently persisting several minutes.

Photos of; The House of Taittinger, their caves so chalky white and built on the famous Crayères Cellars of Reims: 2.5 miles of tunnels (they own 1/4 to 1/3 of it) cut out of chalk by the Romans, the portrait of Thibaud IV who was a king, lord, manager, singer, conqueror, explorer & 11th century Crusader all rolled into one from which, this Cuvée was the catalyst creation and part of the 600 plus hectares they own in Champange.

Some producer notes; Taittinger's history can be traced back to 1734, when it was originally known as Forest-Fourneaux, founded by Jacques Fourneaux who worked closely with local Benedictine monks to learn how to produce wine. They were just the 3rd Champange house.

The estate was bought by the Taittingers – a family of wine merchants – in 1932, and thanks to the great depression and subsequent low land prices, the family also picked up huge swathes of vineyard. From 1945-1960, Francois Taittinger established the cellars in the Abbey of Saint-Nicaise, and after his death in 1960 his brother Claude took over, pushing the estate into a Champagne house of world renown. Such was the status of the label that the Taittinger family soon expanded its business into other luxury goods. However, this eventually led to financial difficulties, and in 2005 the Taittinger brand – including the Champagne house – was sold to the American owned Starwood Hotel Group. The sale was badly received by the Champagne industry, with many fearing the new owners – unfamiliar with the culture of Champagne – would put profit ahead of quality.

Just one year later, Claude’s nephew, Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, who had always been opposed to the sale, negotiated a €660m deal with the Starwood Group, and the Taittinger family resumed ownership of the company.

In 2017, Taittinger planted its first vines in England, near a village in Kent, for its venture into English sparkling wine. The first bottle will be ready in 2023.

1/8/21
— 4 months ago

Eric, Juan and 32 others liked this
Sean Smith

Sean Smith

@David T I have a feeling we’re close by. I shop at the Costco in Novato. Tough to leave with less than a case of wine sometimes.
David T

David T Influencer Badge

@Sean Smith Novato is a good Costco zip code for wine. Costco definitely pushes the higher quality wines & therefore more expensive wines into well to do income zip codes. I’ve seen Petrus a few times in Scottsdale.
Eric

Eric Premium Badge

They had a pretty cool Latour combo when we were there last week.

Raen Winery

Cuvée Royal St. Robert Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2018

Surprise of the night. Cherry and raspberry with fresh potting soil, sandalwood and some herbs. Think I’m a fan of whole cluster fermentation. From Wine Merchants Best of the West 4.10.21. — a month ago

LM, Andrew and 12 others liked this

Kalinda

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

David T
8.9

This is K&L Wine Merchants private label wine. Named after family, Kay & Linda.

It is always a mystery who’s juice they bottled or who they bought fruit to and made the wine. Regardless, it always over delivers at $21.99.

Might have waited a couple years too long to get its best. Need to let it settle on palate before sharing more thoughts. Starting a little lean on the palate but, what a floral nose. We’ll see what a longer decant and palate coating brings.

As I mentioned, the nose is singing with ruby, candied florals that are; dark, red, purple & blue. The fruits are a little stewed; blackberries, black raspberries, plum, dark cherries, poached strawberries and blueberries that hover. Mid, soft, dark spice, light baking spices of; clove, nutmeg, cinnamon & vanillin, mid berry cola, black & red licorice, caramel, dark chocolate, mocha, steeped fruit tea, dark, rich, moist soil with dry leaves, older tobacco, soft leather, saddle-wood, dry crushed rocks, limestone minerals, dry, river stones, shades of dry herbs, ambers, touch of savory meats & black pepper, & tomatoes with leaf.

The nose is more captivating than the body. It’s complex but at the same time flatter. The palate shows; ripe, stewed & candied fruits of; blackberries, black raspberries, plum, dark cherries, poached strawberries, pomegranate and blueberries on the backend. Mid, soft, dark spice with just the right amount of heat, cherry kirsch, light baking spices of; clove, nutmeg, cinnamon & vanillin, mid berry cola, black & red licorice, caramel, dark chocolate, mocha, steeped fruit tea, dark, rich, moist soil with dry leaves, older tobacco, soft leather, saddle-wood, dry crushed rocks, limestone minerals, dry, river stones, moist to dry clay, shades of dry herbs, ambers, touch of savory meats & black pepper, & tomatoes with leaf. The acidity is a cool Colorado stream. The finish is; well knitted, balanced fruit & earth elegant, lush, despite its complexity, a little hallow yet persisting minutes, falling onto dry soils & spice.

As I stated, still enjoyable but, at its peak two years ago from my secondary storage. However, the longer I sip it, it pushes 9.0 on the long set. Time to start drinking a number of wines I’ve stepped over for bigger experiences & more notable producers.

Photos of, the K&L store in SF, tasting bar & two different photos of K&L Bordeaux Dinners we’ve attended with Owner Clyde Beffa Jr.
— 4 months ago

Shay, Julie and 26 others liked this

Massaya

Terrasses de Baalbeck Bekaa Valley Cinsault Blend 2018

If there is a reason to pop to your local wine merchants this is it. This morning I explained the flavours I enjoyed and he produced this! Super Smooth and full of dark juicy hmmm. The most exciting glass of wine I’ve enjoyed since using this app. I am looking forward to trying out more wines from this region. — 6 months ago

El Enemigo

Gran Enemigo Gualtallary Cabernet Franc 2014

From Wine Merchants El Enemigo class 9/11/20. Cab Franc from Adrianna Catena and Catena winemaker. Deep purple in color. Blackberry on nose. Fruit with lots of vegetal undertones (bell pepper, jalapeño). Big bodied, with medium/high acid and soft tannins. Paired well with pizza, not as well with more tomato heavy lamb moussaka. — 8 months ago

Andrew, Lars and 1 other liked this

Sea Smoke

Southing Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

Boysenberry and blackberry, some weird spice notes like anise, cola flavor. Def a cool climate Pinot. But hard to justify for price. From Wine Merchants Best of the West class 4.10.21. — a month ago

Lars and Andrew liked this

Bernard Bremont

Grand Cru Ambonnay Brut Champagne Blend

Celebratory bubbles 🍾🥂

Crisp apple, pear, apricot, pie crust, brioche, yeast, cream, and dried white flower notes.

I love that wine is a universal form of expression, capable of crossing oceans and connecting us to a different time. I love how wine is a confluence of art and science that can add a magical dimension to just about every experience.

This past summer, my husband and I, along with our friend Winston, registered for a WSET Level 3 Award in Wines class and exam. We proceeded to devote countless hours to learning about different viticultural and vinification processes and their impact on the resulting style and quality of wine; learning about old and new world regions and subregions, their histories, geographies, topographies, soil, latitudinal positioning, wine laws, terroir, noteworthy winemaking techniques and innovations, legendary winemakers and merchants, and varietals. We tasted wine after wine, learned and practiced the Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine (SAT), and explored regional varietals we’d never heard of previously.

We were welcomed into communities, groups, and gatherings, where we were mentored and supported by true and inspiring wine experts.

And, with gratitude, I’m thrilled to report we (all three of us) passed the WSET Level 3 exam with honors; I passed it with distinction.

Cheers to the amazing world of wine!! The more I learn about you, the more I love you and realize I still barely know you. I’ve just scratched the surface of your depths.
— 3 months ago

Deked1
with Deked1
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Vanessa

Vanessa

@Mike R Thank you!! 🙏 Cheers 🥂
Peter Zandbergen

Peter Zandbergen

Well done!! Congratulations!!!
Vanessa

Vanessa

@Peter Zandbergen thank you very much 🙏 Cheers!! 🥂

Esk Valley

Pinot Noir 2018

Purchased from Cambridge Wine Merchants. Absolutely delicious — 6 months ago

El Enemigo

Gran Enemigo Mendoza Red Blend 2014

From Wine Merchants El Enemigo class 9/11/20. Cab Franc from Adrianna Catena and Catena winemaker. Raspberry and black currant lead into refined pyrazines (bittersweet chocolate). Medium acid and medium plus tannins. Full bodied. Had with skirt steak and pesto grain salad. Cab franc blends are growing on me. — 7 months ago

Lars, Andrew and 1 other liked this