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

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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.

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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.

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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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