Fresh Off the Truck: 2016 VASO by Dana Estates Napa Cab

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

I received a shipment of some recently released Wine Access wines today. I wasted no time cracking the more intriguing options open. Let's get right into it...

2016 VASO by Dana Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
15.3% Alcohol
$85/btl

Almost entirely opaque, the wine leaps from the glass aromatically.

Strikes serious yet approachable notes both aromatically and on the palate. Both experiences are consistent, and it conveys on the finish. Jammy and generous but with serious backbone. Amazingly well balanced. This is terrific stuff from beginning to end.

93/100 WWP: Outstanding

If this is a predictor of what the 2018 Yesterday Howell Mountain Napa Cab is going to be like in a couple years (and based on the clues I think it will be) we're in for a treat.

Deals to Stack

Read more...

New Wine.com Promo Codes: 5 Sparkling Rosé Suggestions

Friday, December 25, 2020

I like to serve sparkling wine around the holidays, and sparkling rosé in particular. I think it's festive, pretty, and a little fruitier than regular sparkling white wine while still maintaining a dry clean finish.

It can also be surprisingly affordable.

A couple new Wine.com codes have surfaced that can really knock the price down on the terrific options below.

Promo Codes
  • $20 off $50 20HOLIDAY (source)
  • $50 off $200 UNCORK50 (emailed to me)
Recommended Sparkling Roses


This wine has such a favorable reputation among people in the know. Consistently when I speak with restaraunteurs and professionals in the business they'll say this is the benchmark in the category.


Such a beautiful wine inside and out. We had a bottle of this last night and it hit the spot. Highly recommended.


Switching things up a little bit price-wise and geographically, this comes from New Mexico. It's "peachy" in color (while others trend in more of a pink direction). Clean and delicious.


When you find yourself in Cortona, Italy and consult the Gambero Rosso you'll likely wind up dining at Ristorante Preludio. They may very well start you off with a complimentary glass of Jeio Rosé Prosecco. Tasting this takes me back there every time.


This Cava is probably the fruitiest option on the list and an amazing value. Maybe start off with one of the pricier options and follow up with this one? Also good with brunch given the fruit.

Notes
  • Prices are as observed currently priced in MA and vary by state
  • Wines ending in .97 don't work w/promo codes (Veuve Cliquot for example)
  • Affiliate links above
Wine.com has been shipping in-stock wines surprsingly quickly to me in Massachusetts. Perhaps time to get these for New Year's Eve enjoyment.

Read more...

Fresh Off the Truck: 2018 Wine Access Star Treatment Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

The $140 for $30 Wine Access "NDA" Pinot Noir I posted about recently arrived and I wasted no time cracking a bottle.

2018 Wine Access Star Treatment Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
Direct Link (still in stock as of now)
14.5% Alcohol
$30/btl (or as low as $25/btl in quantity)

Light in color for a Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. Like a 3 on a scale of 1-10 on opacity (with 10 being completely opaque).

Attractive glistening ruby color. Initial impression immediately upon opening wasn't particularly favorable. But especially given that it just got here I poured a glass and gave it 45 minutes to breathe. And...it improved significantly. Worth noting: Wine Access suggests waiting 7-10 days post-shipment before enjoying.

Appealing typical CA Pinot Noir markers on the nose. Fresh picked stawberries. A little briar patch that continues onto the palate. Unfortunately, I'm picking up a bit of a "green" note on the tail end of the finish that's throwing me. Wine Access tasting note says "subtle mintiness" - if it's that I'm not particularly liking it.

This is a food wine, not a cocktail wine.

90/100 WWP: Outstanding (but was hoping for more)

What Else to Buy from Wine Access?
Deals to Stack

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Wine Access $30 NDA Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir [compare at $140/btl]

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Wine Access has been offering a lot of "NDA" Cabernets lately with varying degrees of success. I was impressed with the Yesterday Cabs. Radio Silence and Editorial as well. Commission not as much.

2018 Star Treatment Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
Direct Link (still in stock as of now)
$30-$25/btl (depending on quantity ordered)
14.5% Alcohol
Free shipping on $120+

Clues
  • Antonio Galloni has called this winery's wines "off the charts" (I thought at first this might be Ceritas or Rhys)
  • Jeb Dunnuck has hailed them as "truly brilliant" (turns out he uses this phrase quite a bit, but he has mentioned it in the context of Kistler Chardonnay)
  • Robert Parker said they "can easily hold their own in blind tastings with the finest red Burgundies"
  • "grapes that have inspired 98-point ratings"
Parker's words really have me thinking the source grapes are from Kistler.

Wine Access recently offered a Kistler appellation Pinot Noir for $75, so there's some association there already. That's a pattern we've seen with the NDA cabs as well.

But the bit about 98 point ratings has me thinking it could be from Kistler, but more specifically from Steve Kistler's family winery Occidental.


I'm in for 6-12 bottles of this. This is right up my alley.

If you're new to Wine Access $50 off $150 through referral:

http://share.wineaccess.com/v/robert_221

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Two New $20 Off $50 Wine.com Codes

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

A couple new Wine.com $20 off $50 codes surfaced on Wine Berserkers:

40% is pretty tremendous, even with Wine.com's inflated pricing and spotty inventory.
If you have StewardsShip (is it worth it?) it's not too hard to land just north of $50.

I think I'll buy some affordable sparkling wines and perhaps some more Port.

I said previously that the Dow's 10 Year Port was a benchmark but I think the Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Tawny is even better. Check it out if you're looking for some Port for the holidays.

Further Reading

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2018 Ridge Geyserville on Wine Access

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

2018 Ridge Geyserville
Direct Link
$40/btl
$36/btl on 6+

I've ordered this exact wine [from Wine Access directly] and it's absolutely gorgeous. As the saying goes "nobody ever got fired for ordering Ridge" - but with Covid this translates to the home experience. It's a great wine to share with close family for the holidays.

Free Shipping on $120+
$50 off $150 on first order with referral
Stack with Amex Offer and shop through a portal on your first order.

Net it out and, if this is on a new account with Wine Access, this results in Ridge Geyserville delivered to your doorstep through referral for $27.50/btl. That's a great deal, and that's before portal cashback and the Amex Offer.

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$25 off $75: Three Benchmark Selections from Wine.com

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Get $25 off $75 at Wine.com with WINTER25 (source)


Who says a nice bottle of sparkling wine has to be expensive? I first tasted this at The Capital Grille back in the day and it's been a reliable friend since, especially around the holidays. Open this up for brunch or early in the evening and it's sure to lift spirits.


I've been enjoying Port lately, probably feeling nostalgic for international premium cabin flights when meal service often wraps up with a cheese plate and some Port. They say if you want to explore the category to start with Ruby Port, which tends to be slightly more affordable. But I think I need to get to 10 Year Tawny before I get to where I expect Port to be. This one sets the standard for me, at a price point that's not too terrible.


If there's one category I have experience exploring it's California Pinot Noir. I like it because it's lighter in body than Cabernet but the good ones have every bit as much intensity of flavor. And simply put: I prefer the flavor profile of a good California Pinot over a Napa Cab. If I had to pick one widely avaiable wine that embodies what I think the category has to offer it would be this one.

Affiliate links above. See this post for tips on maximizing discounts at Wine.com.

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Fresh off the Truck: 2018 Wine Access Radio Silence [$500+ for $45]

Saturday, December 5, 2020

2018 Wine Access Radio Silence Napa Cab
Direct Link (still in stock as of now)
$45-$38/btl (depending on quantity ordered)
15.2% Alc
Free shipping on $120+

Tasting Notes

Aromatically present and on point, presenting as an elegant Napa Cab. Really impressive on the palate with tart raspberries and bittersweet chocolate notes. Ample acidity with silty tannins and a beautiful lingering finish. A sturdy, attactive, feminine, wine.

93/100 WWP: Outstanding

$50 off $150 with referral
Don't forget the Amex Offer

See this post for my hunch on who the grape source is and other ways to knock the price down.

Read more...

Wine.com: $50 off $150 at Wine.com w/PR50FB

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Get $50 off $150 at Wine.com with promo code PR50FB. Expires 12/31.
HT: DanS on the Milenomics Slack #wine channel

Commentary

I'm increasingly having a hard time finding my go-to wines from Wine.com in stock here in MA. And some that are available are more expensive than ever.

I've heard from a few people that they've experienced shipping issues with Wine.com this year.

Both of these phenomenon seem to vary from state to state. I was pleasantly surprised with how quickly Wine.com shipped to a FL address for Thanksgiving - practically next day. And the assortment was better than in MA as well.

With deals like these, all you need to find are one or two bottles that are priced at or near nationwide lows and you've got a good deal. It's just a matter of how much patience you have for sifting through the rubble.

Broader Commentary

You may have noticed an uptick in posts this year. That may well correlate with the global pandemic and time at home but we're on track for this to be one of the most active years on the WWP in quite some time.

It's been great to hear from new readers and long-time friends alike. If you'd ever like to reach me via email with a tip, comment, or just to say hello you can reach me here:

wellesleywinepress@gmail.com

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[Depleted] Today (11/30) Only? $100 off $300 at Wine.com

Monday, November 30, 2020

Update: Looks like this was a code that could only be used once. Not once per account, but once it was used by anyone it was now longer valid for others. I think this is a change in behavior vs prior $100 off $300 codes wine.com would offer. 

Oh well... I'm increasingly having a hard time finding wines I want to buy from wine.com. My standbys are often out of stock and they keep increasing prices.

Get $100 back on $300+ orders from Wine.com with code CM1U9HFYY8PU20
I got this offer via Email on one of my wine.com accounts I don't use any more.

It's uncelar whether this expires 11/30 as stated in the term -or- 12/7 as indicated in the image.

T&Cs

*One-time use per customer. Order must be placed by 11/30/2020. The $100 discount is given for a single order with a minimum of $300 excluding shipping and tax. Items with pricing ending in .97 are excluded and will not count toward the minimum required. Discount does not apply to corporate orders, gift certificates, StewardShip membership fees, select Champagne brands, Riedel glassware, fine and rare wine, 187ML splits, and all bottles 3.0 liters or larger. No other promotion codes, coupon codes or corporate discounts may be applied to order. Offer valid subject to state law limitations.

At any rate it is working now on my primary wine.com account so it is transferrable.

Read more...

Wine Access Radio Silence: Wine from $500+/btl Oakville Grapes for $45/btl

Wine Access is offering another one of their "NDA wines" today:


Pricing
  • $45 1-5 bottles
  • $42 6-11 bottles
  • $38 12 + bottles
Their current 20% off sale doesn't apply to this wine since it is a Limited Time Offer, but if you're a FoundersCard member you can get 10% off.

Depending on whether you've depleted them already you might also be able to use:
If you're new to Wine Access $50 off $150 through referral:


Shop through a portal if it's your first order.

Unfortunately, Wine Access offers tend not to stack. It seems like their system tries to apply the best available promotion tied to an account (clicking through each link should tie them to the Wine Access account you subsequently log into).

Free shipping on $120 orders.

Don't forget the ongoing Amex Offer.

Thoughts

This one sounds similar to the 2018 Yesterday Napa Valley they offered a little while back. Not to be confused with Yesterday Howell Mountain, the clues they provided for the Yesterday Napa Valley seemed to me to indicate Harlan as the grape source. And it's the case again for the Radio Silence.

Clues
  • "At retail, you’d pay between $500-$1,500 (per bottle)"
  • "hillside Oakville grapes"
The offer is written through the lens of a chat with "our octogenarian friend." I did some checking and it looks like Bill Harlan turned 80 this year.

WWP Ratings on Recent Wine Access NDA Wines

Don't get to cranked up about the numbers here. I'm just trying to express my perception of the quality of these recent NDA offers relative to one another.

Commission: 89/100 (read more)
Editorial: 90/100
Yesterday Napa Valley: 93/100 
Yesterady Howell Mountain: 95/100 (read more)

Bottom Line

Although the Commission wine was a bit of a disappointment after a couple of smash hits with the Yesterday wines, I'm cautiously optimistic about this bottling. Here's hoping it drinks more like Yesterday than Commission.

Although this is classified as a preorder wine, it's scheduled to arrive Dec 3rd.

I'll look forward to comparing notes...

Read more...

Wine.com: $50 off $200

Friday, November 27, 2020

Get $50 off $200 with two newly discovered promo codes: 
There is utility in having multiple codes in that wine.com promo codes can only be once per account. So if you have StewardShip tied to an account you can place more orders with 25% off.

Shop through a portal (check rates here) and also consider RetailMeNot and FreeShipping.com/ShopSmarter (they always give 10% back on Wine.com, though they require a $10 monthly subscription).

If you want to spin up a new wine.com account you can get $30 off your first $100 order with a referral. Thanks in advance for using mine (those referring get a $30 off $100 code):


Related Reading

Read more...

Wine Access 20% Off Black Friday: What to buy?

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Wine Access is offering 20% off for Black Friday.

  • Limited Time Offers are excluded
  • They seem to have an inordinately abundant assortment in conjunction with this
  • Free shipping on $120+
  • Runs 10/26/2020 5:00PM ET – 12/1/2020 3:00am ET
Deals to Stack

20% off and free shipping on its own isn't quite enough to make this a compelling deal. But if you can stack some combination of:
...it could be a good time to shop Wine Access.

Update: Looks like 20% is not stacking with referral unfortunately

What to Buy

All price before discounts, inventory varies by state.


Mentioning this one here because it further solidifies the winery and vineyard associated with the Yesterday Howell Mountain Cab. I've cracked a couple more of the Yesterday Howell Mountain and it's fantastic. I bet this Vaso is cut from the same cloth.


Literally translated, Capiaux means fantastic Napa Cab producer O'Shaughnessy mapped to winemaker Sean Capiaux's take on Pinot Noir. Great wine, and a terrific value at this price point.


I really liked the 2018 bottling of this wine. Fully loaded cost here (after discounts and free shipping) is compelling for the quality.


Long-time readers know what a fan of Sojourn I am. The most reliably outstanding producer in my favorite category no doubt. If you've missed out on some of the exclusive offers I've partnered with them on here's an opportunity to try a bottle to see if you agree.


If I get into a rut buying too much wine from big box retailers and Wine.com, I find I'm missing out on smaller producers like this. Haven't had this bottling in particular but I know the producer and like the price.


Possibly the best deal on the board. I've had this wine (ordered it from Wine Access when I posted about it earlier) and it's gorgeous. High quality single vineyard Oregon Pinot Noir with a reliably enjoyable flavorful style? Just my kind of wine deal.


Ridge Lytton Springs and Geyserville are so good year in and year out, and such a great value. The 2018s are particularly good. Read more: Visiting Ridge Monte Bello


Remember that Ritz Cuvee offer I posted on a while back? I've been cracking those open when we've had company (outside, socially distanced of course) and it's absolutely delcious. Creamy and elegant. Every adores it. Here there's a connection to the Ritz again. A little pricey but worth considering in the mix for the holidays.

Thanks in advance if you're new to Wine Access and use my referral link:


A very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours...

Read more...

Amex Offer: $30 off $150 Caymus Vineyards - Wagner Family of Wine

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

There's a new Amex Offer for $30 off $150 for Caymus Vineyards and the Wagner Family of Wine. Expires 1/21/2021.

They sell their flagship Caymus Cabernet for $82/btl so it's probably better to buy that particular wine from Wine.com with all the discounts they offer.

A better play here might be to try some of their wines that aren't available locally. Like the $32 Mer Soleil Pinot Noir, the $44 Caymus Zinfandel, or the $60 Caymus-Suisun Grand Durif.

Ground shipping is around $22 for 2 bottles and $28 for 6 bottles. Maybe we can find a free shipping or other promotion we could stack this with to make it more compelling.

Read more...

Like Meiomi? Five other Pinot Noirs to try...

Monday, November 23, 2020


Joe Wagner sold the Meiomi brand to Constellation Brands for $315 million in 2015. Some will say Meiomi doesn't drink like a Pinot Noir (too full-bodied) but its ripe, generous personality has drawn a loyal following.

I've enjoyed my share of Meiomi over the years for what it is. Sure, it's not a lithe terroir-driven wine that demands study but it is reliable and sometimes hits the spot.

A few friends are kind of "stuck" on Meiomi as a sort of no brainer when they need to bring a bottle of wine to a party.  It got me to thinking what other wines might be similar as a pathway to further exploration -or- if you're just tired on Meiomi and looking for something different yet similar.

Boen California Pinot Noir

If I had to pick a wine that's "the new Meiomi" or "what Meiomi used to be" it's Boen. Boen is part of Wagner's Copper Cane family of wines, so you're getting the Wagner style here without the new corporate overlords.

Like Meiomi it comes broadly from Sonoma, Monterey and Santa Barbara. These are arguably the best Pinot Noir counties in California, but the net is rather wide here. Boen absolutely drinks like Meiomi: Very aromatic, round and bold.

It retails for $24. I see it for $19.99 at most retailers.


Vennstone is similar to Boen, also made by Joe Wagner, also vaguely from three appellations.

You'll most commonly find it at Total Wine as a "Winery Direct" special. If you taste it and like it (it's just a step behind Boen for my taste) you can probably find a deal on it when Total runs a Winery Direct promo.


If you're looking for something a bit more restrained but still round and luscious, check out Elouan. It tastes like what it is: What Oregon Pinot Noir tastes like Joe Wagner style. The closest comparison point I can think of here is La Crema Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.

If you like Meiomi and you're looking for "more" perhaps as a holiday splurge try the single vineyard Belle Glos wines. They're about as big as Pinot Noir can be, and when they're on they're amazing. Las Alturas is my favorite. Around $50 before discounts.

Here's the one wine on the list that's *not* a Wagner wine.

It comes from Jayson Woodbridge, winemaker at well-regarded Cabernet producer Hundred Acre. They also have single vineyard bottlings that go for around $50 retail, but the Three Counties is priced on par with Meiomi or less. The story sounds very similar to the Wagner Family of wines with Caymus as the Cabernet and Belle Glos as the Pinot Noir.

Cherry Pie Three Counties is a little more "tart" than Meiomi, and perhaps more varietally correct as a result. It's worth a try for a little variety and if you like it, check out their single vineyard bottlings like Stanly Ranch if you can find them around $35 after discounts.

Not a fan of the style?

Read more...

Thoughts on "Pinot Rocks" by Michael Browne

I recently enjoyed listening to Michael Browne's Pinot Rocks: A Winding Journey through Intense Elegance on Audible. As someone who has closely followed (and appreciated) Michael Browne's wines from Kosta Browne to CIRQ and now CHEV I thought it was fascinating.

The book expands on the simplified tale of Michael and Dan Kosta pooling their tips and starting a winery while bussing tables at John Ash & Co, providing meaningful insight into "the Kosta Browne way". It captures well how much goes into not only producing fine wines, but marketing them and giving consumers a reason to buy your wines.

The book mostly focuses on Kosta Browne but also touches on newer projects under the Browne Family Wines banner: CIRQ and CHEV. I last visited as CIRQ (~$150/btl) was just launching and had a chance to taste in the Treehouse Vineyard itself. CIRQ is focused exclusively on estate Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. I hear they're finishing up an estate winery that, knowing how they do things, would make for a very cool visit when possible.

More recently, Browne has introduced another brand called CHEV. The inaugural bottlings are Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and Chardonnay but from the branding info on their site it sounds like they're reserving the right to work with grapes from other regions.

I was impressed with the CHEV Pinot Noir that recent arrived, both in terms of the quality of the wine but the attention to detail in the packaging. After hearing in the book how important every aspect of the wine experience is to Browne I appreciated it even more.

The CHEV Pinot carries its $80 release price and then some. It's not as big as Kosta Browne was in its biggest years, but drinks absolutely gorgeously. Pure California Pinot Noir and exactly what Browne is going for: Intense Elegance.
If you've enjoyed Kosta Browne wines over the years and are interested in hearing the story behind how they came to be I think you'd like the book. It's also great if you're interested in luxury brand development in any industry.

Buy on Amazon:

Read more...

Wine.com $20 off $50 w/APPWELCOME

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Get $20 off $50+ at Wine.com with code APPWELCOME:
G

Read more...

FoundersCard Wine Discounts

Saturday, November 21, 2020

FoundersCard is a membership club for business owners that offers a collection of travel/dining perks and retail discounts.

I'm currently a member (more on that in a moment) and have found a couple of their ongoing wine discounts useful.

Wine Access
  • $100 off first $200 order
  • 10% recurring discount
Wine Library
  • Free shipping
  • 25% off rotating assortment of wines each month
There are a few additional tie-ins with wine country lodging, wineries and such but these two have the most broad utility I think.

How it Works

Once you sign up and are approved for FoundersCard you have access to their benefits. Each entity works a little differently. With Wine Access there's a link on the FoundersCard that directs you to the Wine Access site and triggers the discount. With Wine Library you click a button and a discount code is sent to your email.

Thoughts on FoundersCard

I signed up 5 months ago as part of what I thought was going to be a $99 1-year membership. I started the process but didn't follow through. A couple days later they sent me a 6-month free trial.

When you're in a trial period you have access to most, though not all, of the benefits associated with FoundersCard. The wine discounts mentioned here do convey, though some of the more desirable benefits like an American Airlines status match and Caesar's Palace status are only available when you're on a paid membership.

The travel benefits haven't been highly useful to me, especially with the pandemic, but I have been happy with the wine discounts as well as an $800 business checking account welcome bonus and some apparel discounts. Overall, not bad for "free" (as part of the free trial) and I'd say worth it if you can find your way to a $99 for 1 year membership to check it out.

They've got a referral program but I'll skip sharing it here. It's rather unclear to me whether referrals result in free trials, $99 offers, of full fare $395 memberships.

That said, I did want to mention it here since the wine discounts can be useful if a bit involved and circuitous.

To learn more and to inquire about membership:

Read more...

Breaking: Sea Smoke Pinot Noir on Wine Access

Friday, November 20, 2020

 

Direct Link to Offer

Wine Access is offering the 2018 Sea Smoke Ten and Southing Pinot Noirs for $99/btl. That's not too far out of line with retail pricing, but it's noteworthy in that:

  • You can get $50 off your first $150 order with referral
  • Or 20% off -or $50 off $200 for existing customers
  • Shipping is free on $120+ orders
The Ten bottling has historically been more heavily oaked, and more expensive. But the prices seem to have equalized on these two over the years.

Coincidentally I got an email from Sea Smoke today, literally years after last ordering from them, inviting me to reactivate my account. I stopped ordering from them mostly due to shipping costs and having enough on hand. But I was thinking, "Now there's a wine that's hard enough to get in MA that I just may have to buy direct."

The Southing is one of my favorite wines of all time (the 2004 Southing Pinot Noir was my wine of the year in 2009).


I've never seen Wine Access release a wine like this. The way it was emailed out, it was like the quantity was too small to even warrant putting it on their site.

Hopefully you can find availability in your region if you're interested. Thanks in advance for using my referral if you're new to Wine Access for $50 off $150:

Read more...

Fresh off the Truck: Wine Access 2018 Commission Napa Cab [$650 for $35?]

Wednesday, November 18, 2020


4 bottles of the 2018 Commission Cab arrived today and I wasted no time cracking a bottle open. Does it drink more like the $650 grape source it came from -or- the $30-$35 price tag it carries?

2018 Wine Access Commission Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Direct Link [now sold out in many regions]
$30-$35/btl
15.2% Alcohol

The markings of prior Wine Access NDA bottlings are here. A generic "2018" cork. The 15.2% alcohol level. Pleasant-but-reserved-at-this-point aromatics. Insanely high density [that's difficult to emulate at this price point] with mouth-filling tannins you can literally chew on. Yet the finish is just a bit hollow with a strangely/slightly bitter aftertaste not present in the Yesterday Cabs.

89/100 WWP: Very Good

I've had a few bottles of both the Yesterday Cabs and I'd say they're a cut above this one. It's not a regretful buy at $35, but I'm probably not going to buy any more.

It's not highly advisable to open wines until a few weeks after they've shipped. That said, great wines tend to show well no matter what they've been put through.

Here's hoping the 2018 Commission settles down and becomes more integrated. The clipped/bitter finish is the most disconcerting for long-term greatness.

What Comes Next?

$30

Last vintage, I ended up ordering this unknowingly from Garagiste as a "mystery wine" as well as Wine Access. It's wild how two completed different retail models can result in the same exact wine at my house at the end of it. The 2018 is outstanding and I'd be up for more.

$400 

Schrader is the only Napa Cab producer Wine Spectator has rated 100 points blind (Bryant Family, the suspected association for the Commission mentioned above got 99 points blind once for their 1996, but Spectator bumped it up to 100 in a subsequent non-blind tasting). Here's a chance to cut the line on their mailing list where it retails for $225 last I checked.

Bottom Line

With Wine Access, don't forget to stack the still-active Amex Offer with a $50 off $150 referral or $50 off $200 or 20% off if you're an existing customer.

Read more...

Amex Offer: $50 off $250 at Wine Enthusiast

Monday, November 16, 2020

If you're in the market for wine accessories or perhaps a wine fridge, check your Amex Offers for $50 of $250 at Wine Enthusiast.

Shop through a portal (check rates here) and look for promo codes. Their markup can be a little high in some cases, but they do carry good products.

If I were going to use it, I'd it use this towards something that Wine Enthusiast sells that is difficult to find elsewhere.

I'd be tempted to find a way to stack this offer across multiple Amex cards towards a higher dollar item. That could be difficult though since they don't seem to sell gift cards (if they do it's through Cashstar which likely wouldn't trigger the Amex Offer) and they don't seem to accept multiple credit cards towards a single transaction online. I bet if you had a bunch of Amex cards with the offer on it, and you wanted to buy a high dollar item like a Eurocave, you could call them and have them charge you in $250 chunks.

If you're in the market for versatile high quality wine glasses, I'd probably just buy these Schott Zwiesel Tritan Forte stems off Amazon. Go for the 24.7 oz Claret Burgundy size. Should be about $60 for 6, $10 a stem.

Read more...

Wine.com: $20 off $50 with code TURKEY20

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Get $20 off $50 from Wine.com with code TURKEY20.

Expires 12/31/2020

HT Dan S on Milenomics Slack

I ordered a couple bottles of LaMarca Prosecco and a bottle of Boen California Pinot Noir to minimize overshoot, and shipped it to FL for Thanksgiving with StewardShip.


Read more...

Wine.com: $50 off $200 with promo code STWDHOLIDAY

Friday, November 13, 2020

Get $50 off $200 at Wine.com w/code STWDHOLIDAY.

The code seems intended for use with the purchase of a new StewardShip membership. But I already have StewardShip and was able to use the get for $50 off $200.
If you're unfamiliar with StewardShip see this post. You don't have to get StewardShip to use this code, but StewardShip can make sense if you plan on ordering from Wine.com frequently.

Here's a roundup of active promo codes as of August 2020. Some are still working.

Read more...

20% Off Wine Access [YMMV but working for existing accounts]

Thursday, November 12, 2020

I noticed a banner ad on the New York Times Evening Briefing newsletter for 20% off at Wine Access:

Direct Link

Step 1: Log in to an existing Wine Access account.

Step 2: Add wine(s) to your cart

Step 3: Click this link to activate the offer. You should see this banner at the top of the page:
Step 4: Proceed to checkout. You should see 20% off your order. Shipping is free on $120+ orders.
Notes

You may see $50 off $200 remaining in your account from this promo. This 20% offer does not stack with that offer unfortunately, so use the $50 off $200 first then apply this 20% offer later.

I see that this discount works once per account.

There are still active Amex Offers for Wine Access which stack with this.

If you've never ordered from Wine Access before you'd be better off starting with a referral link for $50 off $150. Thanks in advance if you use mine:


Bottom Line

The hits keep coming with these guys, and this is another nice offer. Especially when it can be stacked with other discounts.

Check out this post for some ideas on which wines to buy.

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Fresh Off The Truck Review: Wine Access 2018 Yesterday Howell Mountain Cabernet

Friday, November 6, 2020

The 2018 Wine Access Yesterday Howell Mountain Cabernet arrived today, and I wasted no time cracking a bottle open. I initially bought 4 bottles but followed up with a 12 bottle case order since I regretted no buying more of the first Yesterday Napa Cab they offered.


It's a little nerve wracking opening the first bottle when you've ordered a case. It's rare for me to buy more than a few of any single bottle of wine. But in this case I did. And I'm glad I did...

2018 Wine Access Yesterday Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
$35-$40/btl (depending on quantity purchased)
15.2% Alcohol

This wine is *impressive*. Subtle but appealing aromatically. Most notable: The tannins that land with authority. Holy smokes. The density is off the charts. This is a HUGE wine. Monstrous - in a good way. Somehow, despite all this, it invites another sip.


This wine is now sold out but if there's one thing I've learned in the wine game it's this: There's always another deal around the corner.

And here they are...


Another Wine Access exclusive touted as a $650/btl juice they're offering at $30-$35/btl.

Clue:
Vinous critic Antonio Galloni seconded, “I don’t see any reason why the Cabernets that emerge from this property shouldn’t be among the top five to ten wines in the valley each and every year.”
That vineyard can only be Bryant Family which really does sell for $500+.

If I liked a $300 wine for $35 I should love a $650 wine for $30, right?


Don't like playing chances with "mystery wines"? Here's a sure thing. O'Shaughnessy is an absolutely gorgeous, reliably outstanding Napa Cab and they're offering at a very reasonable $70/btl price (before discounts, compare street pricing here).

Bottle Line

Free shipping on $120+ orders.

Stack it with the current Amex Offer, and thanks in advance for using my referral link for $50 off your first $150+ order:

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Recommended: Wine Access NDA 2018 Yesterday Napa Cab [$300 wine for $35?]

Sunday, November 1, 2020

The Deal
Clues
  • Winemaker described as “Napa’s top gun” in Wine Spectator (I'd say this has to be Thomas Rivers Brown)
  • At the top of Howell Mountain, bordered by stands of trees, the 35-acre site is bowl-shaped and studded with hills...perched 1,800 feet above sea level on Howell Mountain (I'm thinking this is Hershey Vineyard)
  • We dare say it’s worth the $300 the market would usually demand for it. Which means that at just $40, you might want to buy as much as your wallet will allow. (based on a search of Wine Spectator's ratings database, the producer that most closely matches this is Dana Estates whose Hershey Vineyard bottling retails in that range. Actually quite a bit more. Their sister winery Vaso also makes a Hershey Vineyard Cab, retail $85/btl for the 2016 vintage.)
Bottom Line

Is this $300 wine for $35? Not really. They're just saying the vineyard, grapes, and winemaker typically produce wines in that price range. But it is a tremendous bottle of wine for as little as $35/btl before discounts.

The way Wine Access rotates inventory frequently it can be hard to buy, try, and make a recommendation. I really enjoyed the Yesterday bottling they offered earlier this year. 

A prior offering touted a $500 wine for $40. This new offer is from Howell Mountain whereas the prior was just from "Napa Valley." It's fun to say "Hey, who wants more of the $500 wine?" but once you get past that it's just a really great glass of Cabernet. It reminded me of Phelps Insignia with chocolate notes for days. CellarTracker reviews on that one were solid as well.

So here we have an opportunity to buy another wine with the same pedigree as an earlier offer. I went for 4 bottles that are scheduled to arrive later this week. I'll look forward to comparing notes.

Thanks in advance for using my referral link for $50 off your first $150+ order:

Read more...

Wine Access: New Amex Offers + 15% Off Next 3 Orders

Wednesday, October 28, 2020


Wine Access is out with a new Amex Offer, there's a 15% off option for existing customers, and new customers can get $50 off $150 with referral.

Let's get right into it...

Amex Offers
  • $30 off $100
  • Can be used 3x (up to $90 back on $300)
  • -or-
  • $20 off $200
  • Can be used 3x (up to $60 back on $600)
  • Can reach targets through multiple transactions
  • Expires 2/28/2021
I see it on personal cards (Green, Gold, Platinum, Hilton). But not on my business cards, and not on any of my wife's cards.
Existing Customers: 15% Off Next Three Orders

If I log into my existing Wine Access account and go to Credits & Promotions I see an offer for 15% off my next 3 purchases.
New Customers: $50 off $150 w/Referral

If you're new to Wine Access you can get $50 off your first $150+ order. This is stackable with the Amex offer.

Here's my referral link if you're a new Wine Access customer:


Bottom Line

They seem to be pivoting from new customer acquistion to encouraging ongoing spend, which is sensible and good to see.

I have been enjoying their wines quite a bit this year. That Elk Cove Richmond Pinot Noir arrived and is fantastic. I cranked through four bottles of that $40 "Yesterday" Cab (that was supposedly from a $500/btl grape source). I wish I'd bought more of that.

Inventory varies by state, but currently here are a few wines that stand out to me:

Read more...

$50 off $150 at Wine.com: What to buy in California?

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Here's another 33% Wine.com discount code:

AMF50 for $50 off $150 (source, HT @TheRetailTrader)

Wine.com's product availability varies by state. A friend in California asked for some suggestions so I had a look a the assortment there. Wow - it's like two different retailers, at least in categories like Burgundy.

Six Picks that ship to California

2016 Vaughn Duffy Suacci Pinot Noir

If you've been curious about Vaughn Duffy but not quite ready to take the plunge on 6 bottles, here's a chance to try just a bottle.

2018 Cakebread Chardonnay

A rare white wine recommendation from me, but I can't imagine *not* having an occasion to share a bottle of this at some point. It's debatable whether Cakebread is more known for their Cab or Charddonay. I say Cab but other might disagree. Here's an in-depth review of the brand.

2018 Sea Smoke Ten Pinot Noir

I love having a bottle of this on hand when I want to break out an elegant bottle of Pinot Noir for a special occasion. I find it benefits from some aging, if you can manage the patience to wait.

2017 Balletto Pinot Noir

A great example of an outstanding wine at a fair price that's hard to find in Massachusetts. More here.

2018 Allegrini Valpolicella

I've got a soft spot in my heart for Valpolicella, and this is a textbook example. Check out this trip report for more on Allegrini's full lineup.

2016 Columbia Crest H3 Cabernet

Columbia Crest, at all price points in their lineup, has been an ever-reliable friend over the years. I think it was the first wine I ever bought based on ratings from Wine Spectator. It was something like a 90 point rated Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot (Grand Estates being one notch below H3 in cost) for something like $8. It was a great wine, and that quality to price ratio strength continues with Columbia Crest to this day.

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Ends Today: 10% Off + 10% Napa Fire Relief at Wine Access

Monday, October 5, 2020

Wine Access is offering 10% Off + 10% towards Napa Fire Relief through Monday October 5th, 2020.

Their "Limited Time Offer" wines are excluded, but there are some good wines to be had:

I'm noticing their inventory vary depending on whether I'm logged in to the site, meaning inventory varies by state. So poke around and see what else might be interesting to you?

I took a different approach than I usually do when ordering from them. I've been adequately pleased with their assortment in categories I'm more familiar with (like California Pinot Noir and Cabernet) so I took a flyer on a Volnay:


...then topped it off with some more affordable Beaujolais and Burgundy. We'll see how they go.

Free shipping on 6+ bottles, or $120+ (this is calculated before the 10% off, which is nice).

Get $50 off your first order of $150 with a referral link:

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Ritz Rosé Champagne: $39.95/btl w/Free Shipping on 6

Monday, September 21, 2020

Years ago, we stayed at the Ritz-Carlton in Phoenix while visiting family for the holidays. Rates were surprisingly affordable, and thanks to the Chase Ritz-Carlton Visa, Club Lounge was included in our stay.

One of the lounge attendants tipped me off that, on request, they had a better Champagne available: A cuvee made just for Ritz hotels. I think they sold it for like $22/glass at the bar downstairs so I enjoyed it quite a bit. Especially for "free."

Fast forward to today when an offer came through for a Ritz Champagne, and a rosé no less.


I'm uncertain whether this is the same Champagne they serve at Ritz hotels worldwide. But I do see the Ritz Paris offering this in the gift shop for 62 euros a bottle.

That stay at the Ritz in Phoenix was a great memory. I think I'll tell myself that "due to Covid" (as they say), there is a glut of Ritz Champagne available at deep discount and now is the time to buy. Ha!

Get $10 off your first order with First Bottle with this referral link:

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$30 off $100 at Wine Access [Working for Existing Accounts]

Sunday, September 20, 2020


Unlike Wine.com, Wine Access doesn't "do" promo codes. Instead they rely on entry links to associate discounts with accounts.

A good one for $30 off $100 surfaced recently:

https://wineaccess.com/enjoy30

When I visit the site through this link it says "Enjoy $30 Off Your First Purchase of $100" which would seem to imply that it's intended for new users. Or, it could mean it's a "come back" offer to encourage existing users to place a $100+ order. It's working for existing accounts so let's assume it's the latter...

New Customers

If you're spinning up a new Wine Access account you'd be better off using a referral code [percentage wise] for $50 off your first $150 order. 

You could also shop through a portal as a new customer, the one and only time that portal payouts work with Wine Access (existing customers are excluded).

Here's my referral link if you're new to Wine Access:


Existing Customers

A nice thing about this "enjoy30" link is that it stacks with referral credits. If you don't have any referral credits, consider referring a spouse.

Another nice thing about this offer is how their standard offer of free shipping on $120+ applies to the pre-discounted total. So for example a $110 order after $30 discount will ship free:
What to Buy?

Everyone should consider this still-active Amex Offer.

This is well-timed for discounts on the wines I mentioned yesterday in this post.

I keep meaning to write about the $37/btl "Yesterday" Napa Cab they hyped as an "NDA"/mystery wine to compare with $500/btl wines. It really is an increidble wine. I really wish I'd bought more. I cracked a 2nd bottle of it last night and it reminded me of Phelps Insignia (though I think the indicators associate it more with Harlan lineage).

A couple still-available wines along these "mystery" lines:

HT: BrianM on Milenomics Slack and Dan Hammer on Wine Berserkers
Evidently this is being sent out as a postcard via USPS.

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Deal: Elk Cove Goodrich Vineyard Pinot Noir for $35 (before discounts)

Saturday, September 19, 2020

I know a lot of readers have been interested in Wine Access deals, but due to their relatively limited assortment are also looking for specific recommendations. The 2017 Elk Cove Goodrich Pinot Noir for $35 before discounts is a great one:

2017 Elk Cove Vineyards Goodrich Pinot Noir

Their single vineyard Pinot Noirs retail for around $60, and their Willamette Valley bottling retails for $32. So this is like getting a single vineyard wine for the price of an appellation wine...but then you can stack the discounts mentioned below to take the price down even further.

I was poking around and they've got some other great wines right now:

How to Maximize It

If you're an existing WineAccess customer, see if you're taregeted for $50 off $200:

https://www.wellesleywinepress.com/2020/08/targeted-50-off-200-at-wine-access.html

If you've got a new email address to use with WineAccess, use a referral for $50 off $150:

http://share.wineaccess.com/v/robert_48

Through the end of September 2020, check to see if you've got an Amex Offer:

https://www.wellesleywinepress.com/2020/04/ymmv-wine-access-amex-offers.html

Read more...

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