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Staff Wine Picks

Empire Wine Staff Picks: Personally tasted and reviewed by our staff.

Antiche Terre Amarone della Valp 2012
90  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 90"A charming, accessible Amarone, with pure flavors of black cherry coulis and date, plush tannins and layers of baking spice, orange peel and licorice. Drink now through 2025. 1,865 cases made."
Item Number: 19667
Case: $251.40
a bargain at twice the price If you've ever wanted to try an Amarone but didn't want to dip into the college fund, now is your chance. Made from thedried corvina grape, this wine is a full bodied red. Dried fig and and mocha on the nose, almost port like in character. Delicious. Amarone is heralded by many as the greatest Italian red. Grab this beauty before it's gone and enjoy it with a roast, or a nice ripe cheese. — Tim

Uppercut Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
"Provenance Winery provides this finely tuned super value Cabernet Sauvignon. 98% cabernet with the balance of Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec , and Merlot. Napa Valley was blessed with back to back great growing seasons of 2012 and 2013. The black currant,cherry Cocoa flavors fan out in the
Item Number: 22439
Case: $191.40
Napa Valley Knockout! This is a front to back winner. Vanilla and black currant give an inviting welcome at the nose. This medium-to-full bodied cab brings a deep cassis and dark berry mid-palate. Fair tannins provide a smooth ride to a silky finish with beautiful notes of spice, chocolate, and espresso. Pair with a seared NY strip for some flavorful coast to coast love! — Eric

Berger 'Lossterrassen' Gruner Veltliner 2015
93  Wine Enthusiast 
Wine Enthusiast 93 Top 100 #17 for 2016 "Zesty lime and green fern aromas rise from the glass. The palate merely adds a little green pear fruit to this refreshing and enlivening combo of utter cleanness and verve. The linearity and drive make this moreish, very exciting and totally lip-smacking.
Item Number: 22262
A Superb Springtime Wine! Beautiful clarity in the glass, the aromas remind me of a perfect spring day. Very ripe yellow/green apples, mango with a nice floral background of fresh apple blossom and iris. On the palate this wine offers perfectly ripe fruit notes with a light body and great acidity. After opening up, the wine takes on a honeyed character and just gets better after each sip. Pair this with your favorite seafood dish or a light spring salad! — Peter

Chateau de Landiras Graves Merlot/Cabernet 2014
Decanter 95 "“65% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon. Great intensity of classic Bordeaux fruit on the nose, cassis, dark cherries and liquorice. The rich round palate is bursting with fresh blackberry and blackcurrant, lovely silky tannins great length all in perfect harmony.”  The Wine Located in
Item Number: 24023
A well balanced affordable Bordeaux This wine is a great blend of Cabernet and Merlot. The color is a deep garnet red with tints of purple throughout. The nose displays aromas of cassis, currant and pleasant spice. This huge fruit forward wine gives a lovely palate of blackberry and more blackcurrant. There are silky soft tannins that help create a fairly lengthy finish. There is a great balance that gives a sense of perfect harmony. Great for smoky barbecue foods or even a light seafood dish. — Da-sol

Chateau Tour Bayard Montagne St. Emilion 2011
88  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 88 "Offers a generous feel, with velvety-edged plum and blackberry fruit, well-integrated into the tobacco and cocoa notes on the finish. Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2015. 5,000 cases made." ~JM  " Ever had red Bordeaux as an apéritif? Neither had I, until I
Item Number: 24338
Case: $227.40
Tastes well above its price point!!! This 2011 Chateua Tour Bayard Montagne is everything you are hoping for when drinking a St. Emilion. Pepper and red fruit on the nose, this beauty opens up with a silky mouth feel and subtle earthiness with dark red fruit undertones. Long finish on this classic 85% Merlot, 15% Cab Franc. You'll be wishing you bought more than one. — Matt

Chateau Laribotte 375ml Sauternes 2011
Please note this is a 375mL bottle, which is smaller than a regular 750mL bottle!
"Brilliant golden robe. Attractive complex nose of acacias, white flowers, lemon, and a touch of honey. Light, fruity mouth with flavors of candied fruits and dry apricots. Long on the palate with backbone, reflecting good acidic balance. Excellent ageing potential.
Item Number: 20700
Case: $382.80
A Stunning Sauternes A surpurb bottle for the price. Opening with a strong nose of zesty lemon and citrus this wine starts surprisingly balanced with lots fruity characteristics. Light in body and just enough acid to cut through the sweetness this is for sure a star on its own but could pair beautifully with a Gorgonzola or Roquefort cheese. — Allison

Chan De Rosas Albarino 2015
Round and full on the palate, this zesty Albariño is a total stunner. Energetic notes of Meyer lemons and seaside air mix with ripe fruit notes of melons and white peaches. Showing subtle white floral aromas and a creamy mid-palate, this wine is incredibly elegant.
Item Number: 24117
Case: $167.40
What an amazingly aromatic wine !! Before the very first sip is taken, you will be entranced by the angelic nose on this Albariño from Rías Baixas. Delicate floral notes blend ever so slightly with an impressive touch of lemon that simply jump out the glass. The bright acidity and long crisp finish makes this the perfect paring for most shellfish dishes. I can't think of a better way to treat yourself as we transition into the spring season. — Christopher