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A New List for a Shopping Spree of Wine Treasures

shutterstock_62786128-glass-of-wineThe Top 20 Percent Of More Than 300 Wines Recently Tasted 

Having written about one famous wine family in the January and February issues (see online at woodlandslifestylesandhomes.com/category/wine/, I am seriously behind in wine recommendations. Of more than 300 wines tasted recently, here are the top 20 percent, each of which I would serve proudly, and each a great value in its respective price range. For a wine-treasure-seeking shopping spree, take this article to your favorite wine shop. Enjoy!

Sparkling and Rosé:

  • Bisol Crede Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore   Spumante Brut DOCG $15
  • Ferrari Perle Trento DOC 2009 (100% Chardonnay) $38
  • Little Black Dress Rosé California $13
  • Angeline Rosé of Pinot Noir 2016 $14
  • Kim Crawford Rosé Hawk’s Bay 2015 $17.99

White Wines:

  • Ciù Ciù Falerio Oris (Trebbiano,
  • Terres Guada Rias Baixas O Rosal 2015 $13
  • Pacific Heights Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2015 $13
  • Cloudfall Chardonnay Monterey County 2015 $13
  • Duchman Trebbiano Bingham Family Vineyard (Texas) 2015 $15
  • Angeline Chardonnay Monterey County 2015 $15
  • Adler Fels Chardonnay The Eagle Rock (Sonoma/Monterey) 2015 $19.99
  • Davis Bynum Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2014 $20
  • Chablis Premier Cru Vau De Vey Jean-Marc Brochard 2014 $22
  • Hess Chardonnay Napa Valley 2014 $22
  • Susanna Balbo Signature Torrontés Uco Valley 2014 $24
  • Albatross Ridge (Carmel/Monterey) 2014 $25
  • Chablis Samuel Billaud 2014 $25
  • Miner Chardonnay Wild Yeast Napa Valley 2012 $28
  • Franciscan Chardonnay Cuvée Sauvage Carneros Napa Valley 2014 $38

Pinot Noir:

  • Cloudfall Monterey County 2015 $15
  • Angeline Reserve 2015 $18
  • Olema Sonoma County 2014 $20
  • Beringer Sonoma Coast 2014 $25
  • Davis Bynum Russian River Valley Jane’s Vineyard 2014 $27
  • Baldacci Elizabeth Carneros Napa Valley 2013 $40
  • Balleto Russian River Valley Sexton Hill Vineyard 2014 $40
  • Clos de la Tech Santa Cruz Mountains Estates 2010 (current release) $45
  • MacRostie Goldrock Ridge 2014 $56
  • Benovia Sonoma Coast Tilton Hill 2014 $58
  • Robert Mondavi Carneros Napa Valley 2014 $60
  • Migration Sta. Rita Hills Drum Canyon 2014 $68

Cabernet Sauvignon and Other Red Wines:

  • Robert Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon $10
  • Quinta dos Murcas Assobio Douro 2013 $13
  • Clos du Bois Cabernet Sauvignon California 2014 $13
  • Villa Trasqua Evoluto Chianti Classico DOCG 2014 $16
  • Villa Trasqua Traluma Toscana IGT (predominantly Tinta Roriz and Tinta Franca) 2014 $16
  • Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi 2013 $17
  • J. Lohr Cabernet Sauvignon Seven Oaks Paso Robles 2014 $17 • Montefalco Rosso Umbria DOC 2014 $20
  • Tomassi Ripasso Valpolicella 2013 $17
  • Mercer Malbec Horse Heaven Hills 2014 $20
  • 19 Crimes The Warden Reserve Southeastern    Australia Red Wine 2015 $21
  • Murietta’s Well The Spur Red Wine Livermore Valley 2013 $21
  • Kenwood Merlot Jack London Sonoma Mountain 2013 $21
  • Chappellet Mountain Cuvée 2014 $24
  • Esporao Quinta dos Murcas Reserva Douro 2011 $25
  • Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale 2012 $25
  • Hess Lion Tamer Red Wine Napa Valley 2014 $27
  • Duchman Montepulciano Oswald Vineyard (Texas) 2013 $30 • Dominio del Plata BenMarco Expresivo Mendoza 2014 $32
  • Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro-Gold Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2011 $32
  • Mercer Reserve Ode to Brothers Horse Heaven Hills (Rhone Style) 2012 $42
  • Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2014 $44
  • Susanna Balbo Brioso Single Vineyard Luján de Cuyo 2013     $44
  • J. Lohr PAU (Pauillac look-alike) Paso Robles 2013 $45
  • Miner Merlot Stagecoach Vineyard Napa Valley 2013 $50
  • B.R. Cohn Cabernet Sauvignon Olive Hill Estate 2014 $58
  • Vianza Signature Series Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma 2013 $65

Mountain Napa Valley 2013 $80

  • Nickel & Nickel Cabernet Sauvignon Dragon Fly Vineyard Napa Valley St. Helena 2013 $130
  • E. Guigal Chateau d’Ampuis Cote Rotie 2012 (Magnum) $360


Hopdoddy — A phenomenon! The first thing I noticed was the long line. What? They were all being served drinks and were nibbling on French Fries. After we were seated, both a waiter and manager came by offering suggestions and asking for questions about the menu. From the Signature Sips, we ordered a Lil Prick, “a sassy prickly pear martini with silver tequila and fresh squeezed lime juice.” Excellent! We then ordered the parmesan truffle fries with truffle aioli to start — awesome and steaming hot — and just couldn’t pass up the green chili queso with fries — just as good! From the 13 house-ground, non-antibiotic beef burger choices, my wife had a Classic Burger, and I had a Llano Poblano Burger — angus beef, apple smoked bacon, tillanook pepperjack, seared poblanos, chipotle mayo, red lettuce leaf, white onion and beefsteak tomato. All on homemade buns (all start from scratch each day). Paired with a Live Oak Hefeweizen Draft Beer. Everything about the experience was outstanding! In the River Oaks district.

Brio Tuscan Grill —Pre-dinner found us atypically having cocktails instead of wine, and sipping on a Peach Bellini and a Strawberry Fresca. I knew we were onto something special. My first impression of the food was an encounter with a unique Kale Caesar Salad — one of the best salads served in Houston — “Tricolore lettuce, marinated (in lime juice) kale, pancetta, tomatoes, chopped egg, croutons, Caesar dressing, Parmesan.” Thank goodness my wife and I split one — huge and to-die-for! And assuming the main courses we split are indicative of the rest of the food — one was a delicious Shrimp Risotto & Broiled Lobster Tail (“mushrooms, roasted red peppers, asparagus, basil, Parmesan”) — we shall return! 1208 Queensbury Lane, Suite 100 .

Third Coast — This fabulous addition to the Texas Medical Center (6650 Bertner), draws on Asian, Latin, Native-American, Czech-German and good-old Texas traditions. Executive Chef Jon Buchanan says, “We’re proud to use natural, sustainable and local ingredients, and have a beautiful wine list that pairs perfectly with our menu.” If you’re in the area, it’s definitely worthwhile to treat yourself with a meal.

A New List for a Shopping  Spree of Wine Treasures

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