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Tasting Report and Free Shipping: Current Releases at The Wine Cellar of Stoneham

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Reminder: Our Scoop the Spectator and Win a Kindle Fire Contest Ends this Friday

The other day, I mentioned The Wine Cellar of Stoneham to a colleague visiting from New Jersey as a good store to check out for wine deals. I've tried quite a few of the wines they carry so I thought it would be a good time to share my thoughts and point out what I thought were some of the better value plays currently available.

Right now, they're offering free shipping to Massachusetts on orders over $100 with Promotional Code "wwp". Have a look at the list below and take a look at their other selections on their website. And remember - there's no tax on wine in Massaschusetts. Free shipping, no tax, online shopping, and great prices. I like it.

2006 Cade Cabernet $39.99 ($68 release)
94/100 WWP: Oustanding

A beautiful Napa Cab that takes my definition of what I'm looking for in this category and pushes forward with a little extra. Drinking beautifully at this stage if you like your wine as it's just exiting its youthful stage - but hasn't yet settled into mid-life. I've had this wine at tastings before and have been impressed - but this was my first chance to sit down and get to know it.
Visually it's opaque dark red/purple. As I swirl it in the glass some mild sediment is revealed on the edge of the glass.
The aromatics were evident immediately upon opening, but reveals more with time. So much going on. Blackberry, black currant - deep dark fruit. Eucalyptus too, but in a mild supporting role. Savory notes. This wine is classic Napa/Howell Mountain fruit.
Very satisfying on the palate with ample acidity, chalky cocoa powder tannins, and a million-mile finish.
Don't see how I can rate this any lower. It's so well done. Wow - a beautiful wine.

2009 Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir $29.99 ($42 release)
93/100 WWP: Oustanding

Medium-full bodied magenta. Aromatically beautiful with rich strawberry, red raspberry, and fresh clean earth which translates brilliantly to the palate. Silky texture balanced nearly perfectly with acidity and just a touch of tannic grip.
A benchmark California Pinot Noir from and iconic pruducer. Highly recommended.

2007 Robert Foley Petite Sirah $39.99 (95+ RP/$60 release)
93/100 WWP: Outstanding

A tremendous wine at a fantastic price here. I prefer the Petite Sirah and Merlot for near term consumption over the  much more expensive Claret. They also have magnums of the 2007 Merlot for $79.99 - also outstanding. Super-high alcohol (16.2%! - but well concealed) powerful fruit-forward California wines.

2009 Miner Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir $39.99 (90WS/$60 release)
90/100 WWP: Outstanding

Light, elegant and layers of complexity. But somehow I was hoping for a little more at this price point. A plummy note feels out of place in a CA Pinot. Would love it at $25 but since it's more I doubt I'll be buying more. The wine is outstanding in my view but in this price range you can have some of the best CA Pinot Noir.

2006 Nicholas Potel Volnay Vieilles Vignes $24.99 (88WS/$46 release)
90/100 WWP: Oustanding

What a pretty wine. Light ruby in color and mostly transparent. Austere by new world standards but with food it shines. Sufficient round fruit on the nose that turns more tart on the palate. Wonderful mineral flavors with considerable acidity and a touch of tannic bite. Would like to check in on this wine in a couple years but even now - very elegant.

2010 Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir $16.99
90/100 WWP: Outstanding

Very dark for a Pinot Noir. Darker than prior vintages of this wine I believe.
Almost brooding. Still tastes very primary but I have a feeling this will evolve quite well.
90+ for now. We'll see where this one goes. I'll be buying more. It's a great value, especially when you see it in the $16 range.

2008 Saint-Cosme Cote-Rotie $29.99 (90WS/$95 release)
89/100 WWP: Very Good

60% opaque but light on its feet. The aromas on this are so distinctive - white pepper, earth, red fruit, and minerality. Quite elegant. The mouthfeel is light and it could give a little bit more of a punch without betraying its origin. That said, I do believe this provides a viable window into the pricey category Cote Rotie is.
An off vintage for Syrah-driven Northern Rhone so you can catch this one on a deal

2009 The Dreaming Tree Cabernet $11.99 (Dave Matthews collaboration wine)
87/100 WWP: Very Good

Medium to full bodied dark ruby red. Opens with substantial fresh plum and black currant aromas with supporting toasty oak notes. Enjoyable mouthfeel with a touch of acidity and blackberry flavors. A touch of sweet spice. A nice enjoyable wine.

2009 Conundrum Red $16.99 (First release of a red Conundrum - produced by Wagner Family/Caymus)
86/100 WWP: Very Good

Aromas aren't pronounced but are vaguely pleasant generic "red wine" markers. Significant black currant. Some Rhone-like/Syrah aromas in the background. On the palate it feels brambly. A reasonably enjoyable slightly sweet/early aspect. But it taste a lot like grape juice. I don't think there's any Pinot Noir nor Cabernet in this wine. If I had to guess the composition I'd say Syrah, Grenache, Petite Sirah, and possible Zinfandel.
Interesting. Not sure I'm ready to back up the truck on this one just yet.

If you poke around in person or on their website I think you'll see good values at every price point. Drop me an email or ping them on Twitter (@WineCellarsMA) for more buying suggestions.

Unfortunately, like all Massachusetts retailers they can't ship out of state. We'll need MA House Bill 1030 to repair that. Until then this deal is Massachusetts only.

Click here to visit their site and use the code "wwp" for free shipping to MA on $100 orders

Question of the Day: What are some of the best deals you see at The Wine Cellar of Stoneham right now?

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