Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to announce a FREE Bourbon tasting at the Spec’s Oak Ridge location on Tuesday, August 21st from 6-8pm. Please RSVP to RSVP_Woodlands@Specsonline.com.

Here are the details:

Experience all the flavors of Woodford Reserve Bourbon

The perfectly balanced taste of our Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is comprised of more than 200 detectable flavor notes, from bold grain and wood, to sweet aromatics, spice, and fruit & floral notes.  The tasting includes five specific food pairings that will accentuate certain characteristics of Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select Bourbon. By comparing the flavor notes of the samples with the Woodford Reserve Flavor Wheel, the subtle flavor cues in can be experienced. The samples all have individual flavor properties that will excite the palate and bring out the subtleties of Woodford Reserve bourbon.

See you there!

James C. Barlow, CWE, CSS


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Riedel Wine Glass Sensory Tasting

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have the extreme pleasure of offering another Spec’s Riedel Consumer Event here in The Woodlands! The last consumer event sold out and was a huge success!  We have a rare opportunity for you all to truly understand how important glassware is to the flavor profile of wine. This tasting will be a ‘light bulb’ experience on what glassware you should have in your house to get the maximum flavor profile from the wine in your glass. The tasting will be held at the Oak Ridge North Location. You will be rewarded for attendance by keeping the 4 glasses in the tasting. (A value of $120!, need I say more?!?!)


RSVP TO RSVP_Woodlands@specsonline.com or Jamesbarlow25@hotmail.com

What: Riedel Glassware Expert Tasting hosted by Riedel Expert Doug Reed

Where: Spec’s Oak Ridge Location

When: Friday, August 24th from 6:30-8PM

Glassware to be used:

Each participant with receive a Veritas Tasting set ($120 value) and taste through 5 SPECtacular wines.

1- Veritas Zinfandel/Riesling Glass

1- Veritas Oaked Chardonnay Glass

1- Veritas Old World Pinot Noir Glass

1- Veritas Cabernet Sauvignon Glass

Developed and fine-tuned in sensory workshops, together with the world’s top experts, each glass will enhance the enjoyment of great wines by expressing the finest most delicate flavors.

Wines to be poured:

  1. Slingshot Sauvignon Blanc
  2. Roberts & Rogers Chardonnay
  3. Summers Andriana Cabernet Sauvignon
  4. Bliss Pinot Noir

See you there!

*There will also be a Riedel Tasting at our Flagship Smith Street location on Wednesday, August 22nd if you would like to make a downtown date!  RSVP_Houston@Specsonline.com to attend

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Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Gravy it’s hot out there this summer! I am super excited about the list this month.  I’ve had the pleasure to taste through some amazing wines lately and am pleased to be able to share them with you.  Time flies.  I just registered my 5 year old into kindergarten. It’s seems like not so long ago, I was walking his sister (now 16) to the same school that her brother is now going to attend.  My 19 year old is a fine military man and it still seems silly to me that I have an almost 20 something.  Thank the Lord that I have plenty of wine to continue this pleasure I call life.  I am planning a Riedel tasting event later this month….details to follow!  Enjoy!

Bernard Moreau Chardonnay 2014

Chassagne Montrachet, France

Cash Price $64.99

It is impossible to mention the famed region of Chassagne-Montrachet in the Cote de Beaune without speaking of Bernard Moreau.  This small chateau produces organic, biodynamic, and sustainable wines with a pure hands off approach to allow the grapes to offer their true expressions of flavor and terroir.  This may be one of the best Chardonnay’s I taste this year.  The wine is aged in 30% new French oak for 15 months, fermented with natural yeast and bottled un-fined and unfiltered.  It is brilliantly layered with flavors of lemon citrus that is cradled by tropical fruits and a beautiful floral bouquet.  Notes of white flowers and peach sink into the mid palate with tension based acidity.  The finish offers a plethora of flavor with butterscotch, hazelnuts, crushed rocks and whipped cream pie.  This wine is amazingly structured for the long haul and will only get better with some age.  James Score: 96 Points

Windvane Pinot Noir 2015

Carneros, California

Cash Price $49.99

As most of you know, I LOVE Pinot Noir!  Its been a little while since I’ve been blown away by California Pinot.  Well, that streak is gone after trying this wine.  The 2015 vintage is one of several stunning years that California has produced although it was one of the earliest harvests due to heat and drought.  This allowed for extremely concentrated grapes which followed into the bottle.  The wine was aged in 46% new French oak for 9 months.  This 100% Pinot Noir offers dense notes of blackberry and black cherry that flows eloquently into notes of cola and subtle spice.  Although the wine has high alcohol for a Pinot Noir, it does not feel hot on the palate.  The wine has structured acidity and light tannins.  The mid palate shows blueberry pie with hints of caramel and cream.  The finish gives more oaky complexity with smidgeons of vanillin and cedar.  James Score: 94 Points

Highwayman Reserve Trailblazer Red Blend 2016

Sonoma County, California

Cash Price $27.99

The Highway wines are the brainchild of Michael Sebastiani and Paul Giusto.  They have created a brand that has gained amazing traction here in the Texas market.  The Highway 12 and Carneros Highway lines have exploded in all the big Texas cities.  The Highwayman series is the upper echelon reserve wines of these lines.  This 78% Zinfandel/22% Petite Sirah blazes a path through the palate with beefy flavors of black currant and blueberry that jam into silky tannins and integrated acids.  The mid palate offers a smoky note with hints of cured meat and jammy black cherries.  The finish offers toasted cedar and baking spices with a supple, lingering mouth feel.  James Score: 90 Points

Seresin Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Marlborough, New Zealand

Cash Price $19.94

Seresin wines are unique for New Zealand in that they are completely organic and biodynamic.  This wine has a touch of Semillon (9%) to soften the often zingy flavor profile of Sauvignon Blanc and was fermented with natural yeast.  I have shied away from New Zealand in the past several years in lieu of Bordeaux Blanc, but this wine should be highlighted as one of best being produced in all of New Zealand.  Deliciously flavorful, this wine exudes flavors of gooseberry and jalapeno jam with medium plus acidity.  The wine was 15% fermented in used French oak which gives the mid palate some weight and complexity as the fruit begin to turn more tropical with notes of mango, papaya and yellow stone fruits.  The finish is clean and lip smacking with licks of freshly cut grass.  James Score: 91 Points

Bindi Sergardi ‘Calidonia’ Sangiovese Reserva 2014

Chianti Classico, Italy

Cash Price $25.64

Bindi Sergardi is producing some of the freshest Sangiovese in all of Tuscany.  I tasted through the entire line and was quite impressed throughout.  This wine was one of my favorites.  It is a DOCG wine, which is the highest quality tier for wine in Italy, and exudes luxury and finesse from start to finish.  The wine is 97% Sangiovese/3% Merlot and aged in oak for fifteen months.  Flavors of crunchy red cherries and wild red berries flow into taught tannins and fresh acids.  The mid palate offers touches of savory meat and herbs of sage and white pepper.  The finish is restrained with a concentration of red fruits, rose petals, and freshly cut cedar.  Hints of spice and graphite layer throughout the entire mouth feel.  The wine is a touch closed, so a good decant is recommended.  That said, this wine is an over achiever at $25.  James Score: 92 Points

Block 229 Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Paso Robles, California

Cash Price $19.94

The Block Estate Series continues a trend of offering high quality, inexpensive Cabernet Sauvignon.  They have realized that some of the best priced Cabernet Sauvignon grapes hail from the region of Paso Robles in the Central Coast.  Dark flavors of black raspberry and currant are ensconced in medium tannins and soft acids with a dark creamy core.  Roasted plums and jammy blackberry are prevalent on the mid palate with hints of cinnamon and black pepper.  The finish is rich and voluptuous with notes of buttered mocha, vanilla and cedar.  Daily Cabernet for Cabernet Lovers!  James Score: 90 Points

Edu Pulenta Malbec 2014

Mendoza, Argentina

Cash Price $24.99

Edu Pulenta is producing some of the highest quality wines in all Mendoza.  Paul Hobbs is the driving force to bring these wines to our market.  He is a Sonoma guy that has found some of the best vineyard sites in all of Argentina and he now imports the wines from these areas to the United States for our tasting pleasure.  Quality Malbec is taking hold of the market as the American palate evolves to more complex wines.  This 100% Malbec is aged in 50% new French oak for 10 months.  The wine has a balance and finesse that belies the typically rugged texture of Malbec.  Silky flavors of blueberry and plum seep through the dark purple neon color.  Medium plus acids and tannins are noticeable but play second fiddle to the beautiful fruit flavors.  Notes of black cherry touch through the mid palate with strawberry jam.  The finish is wonderfully balanced with hints of cedar, dark chocolate and just a touch of vanillin.  James Score: 91 Points

Maison Champy Pinot Noir 2015

Bourgogne, France

Cash Price $19.94

I was lucky enough to have dinner with the winemaker for Maison Champy, Dimitri Bazas while in Burgundy this past May.  He extolled the virtues of producing natural wine throughout the dinner with focus on sustainability.  Maison Champy Pinot Noir is a perfect wine to understand what Bourgogne can offer without spending an arm and a leg. This wine offers inviting flavors of red cherries and wild berries sleek through medium plus acidity and minimal tannins.  The mid palate offers violet, exotic spice and hints of cream core.  The wine absolutely sticks the landing with just a kiss of red roses a dusting of cocoa powder.  James Score: 89 Points

Chateau Callac Red Blend 2015

Bordeaux, France

Cash Price $14.99

The 2015 vintage was an absolute stunner throughout Bordeaux.  It is easy to find excellent quality in lower priced wines as one really didn’t have to work hard to produce spectacular wine.  This wine is from Graves and may be the best priced wine in our Bordeaux portfolio.  It is a blend of 60% Merlot/25% Cabernet Sauvignon/15% Cabernet Franc and aged for twelve months in French oak.  Flavors of ripe plums and currant flow easily through medium plus tannins and medium acids.  The mid palate shows touches of earth and minerality with silky black cherry and black olive playing throughout the core.  The finish is fleshy and appealing with tinges of cedar, vanilla and red roses.  James Score: 90 Points

Pra Vinera Chardonnay Reserva 2016


Cash Price $14.99

Pra Vinera is exploding in our portfolio because the wine is unabashedly hedonistic in style.  Pra Vinera translates to ‘Field of Wines’ and comes primarily from the North Coast.  Flavors of juicy Granny Smith apples and pineapple ooze into the palate with a creamy core.  Notes of butterscotch, hazelnuts and caramel flow easily into light acids and bursting papaya.  The finish is rich and tantalizing with dollops of coconut butter, oak, and vanilla.  James Score: 87 Points

Blason de Bourgogne Brut N/V

Bourgogne, France

Cash Price $13.99

Some of the best value bubbles in the world are coming from the Bourgogne region.  The wines are made Methode Champenoise and can often rival that of its neighbors to the north but without the price tag.  This wine is 60% Pinot Noir/20% Chardonnay/10% Gamay/10% Aligote and aged on the lees for twelve months.  Blason bubbly is an extremely pretty wine.  Flavors of citrus and fleshy green apples pop into the palate with hints of freshly baked biscuits.  The mid palate offers pear and apricots that meld into zesty acids.  The finish is light and refreshing with touches of confection and candied sweet tarts.  James Score: 89 Points

Domaine de Cabasse ‘Le Rose de Cabasse’ 2017

Rhone Valley, France

Cash Price $13.99

Dry Rose is my drink of choice during the scorching, hot summer days.  I have enjoyed this wine on my table many times through multiple vintage and have never been disappointed.  Anne et Benoit Baudry of Domaine Cabasse are a small production winery making delicious wines.  Le Rose de Cabasse is a Grenache based wine with loads of character from other grapes such as Syrah, Carignan and Counoise.  Flavors of freshly picked strawberries and raspberries zing into zesty acids with tinges of citrus and white pepper.  The mid palate offers notes of red roses and wild meadow flowers.  The finish is clean and thirst quenching with smidgeons of pomegranate and wild red berries. Refreshing and just plain Yum.  James Score: 90 Points

Terracotta Pinot Grigio 2016

Delle Venezie, Italy

Cash Price $11.99

Terracotta is now one of the best selling white wines in our entire portfolio.  Its easy approachability and fresh palate makes this wine a daily drinker for many Houston palates.  Sourced from the paradise region for Pinot Grigio, Terracotta is named after the pitchers which were used to age the wines in ancient Italy.  This wine offers flavors of citrus lemon-lime with notes of pear, apple and ripe melon.  The wine is un oaked and ready to drink from the get go.  The finish has medium acids with notes of wild flowers touches of wet stone minerality that is softened by the touch of sweetness on the finish.  James Score: 88 Points

Thank you,

James C. Barlow, CWE, CSS

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Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have quite a treat in store for you on Thursday, August 9th from 6:30-8:30pm at Spec’s Oak Ridge Location.  We will be pouring wines from the Wagner family (Caymus) for you all to enjoy!  Let me know if you have any questions.

Please RSVP to: RSVP_Woodlands@Specsonline.com

Wines to be poured:

  1. Conundrum Rose
  2. Conundrum Sparkling
  3. Mer Soleil Silver Chardonnay
  4. Emmolo Sauvignon Blanc
  5. Emmolo Merlot
  6. Caymus Cabernet
  7. Caymus Petit Sirah Grand Durif

See you there!

James C. Barlow, CWE, CSS


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Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to announce that I have taken over the ‘Twelve Under Twelve’ for Spec’s.  I am going to officially replace the ‘Steals of the Month’ with the ‘Twelve Under Twelve’ from now on.  It will give you twelve options of wines from all around the world, all under $12! I hope you all enjoy the new blog!  Feel free to give me feedback or suggestions.  Enjoy!

Trocard Bordeaux Superior Red Blend 2015

Bordeaux, France

Cash Price $11.49

The 2015’s have shown us some of the best VALUE that Bordeaux has ever offered. This alluring and inviting Merlot based (with a smidge of Cabernet) red blend offers flavors of black cherry and currant with a medium, supple body. Pair with bacon-wrapped bell peppers with cream cheese filling.

Ken Forrester ‘Petit’ Chenin Blanc 2015

Western Cape, South Africa

Cash Price $9.99

This wine is one of my favorite white wines under $10 period.  Un-oaked and deliciously refreshing, Petit offers medium acidity with notes of pear, melon drop, and honey dew that sinks into lychee and whiffs of grapefruit.  Pair with a chair on the back porch!

Lockwood Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Monterey, California

Cash Price $10.99

Lockwood is an estate wine grown on calcareous soil that has spent time in French oak.  Flavors of cherry and cassis flow into hints of chocolate and tobacco. Framboise is prevalent on the mid palate with soft, lush tannins. Pair with Osso Buco or dark roux gumbo. Daily Drinking Red!

Domaine de Fournaches Aligote 2016

Bourgogne, France

Cash Price $11.99

Fournache offers deliciously zingy acids with plenty of citrus lemon on the palate.  The wine is un-oaked and quite refreshing.  Notes of white flowers and hints of hazelnuts dance vibrantly on the finish. Pair with lightly seared sea scallops in a lemon butter sauce.

Perelada ‘3 Fincas’ Red Blend 2013

Emporda, Spaind

Cash Price $10.39

It is a blend of primarily Carignan, Garnacha and Syrah.  Fresh and fruit driven, this wine exudes flavors of black cherry and blackberry from the start with medium tannins and acids.  The finish shows crushed rocks, hints of earth and smoky cedar. Pair with Paella and Empenadas. Value Hunter Wine!

Chateau Pierre Rougon Rose 2017

Cotes Du Rhone, France

Cash Price $9.49

Rose All Day season is upon us. Dry and refreshing, Rougon offers flavors of fresh raspberry and strawberries with whiffs of rose petals. Fresh acids keep the red fruits in check with a hint of cream on the finish.  Pop, drink, enjoy, repeat.

Francois Thienpont Sauvignon Blanc 2016


Bordeaux, France

Cash Price $8.99

Refreshing citrus and green grass zing into the palate with pinpoint precision.  Medium plus acidity and no oak.  The finish has bits of lemon lime and touches of cactus. Pair with a pool and an umbrella.

Felipe Rutini ‘Trumpeter’ Cabernet 2016

Mendoza, Argentina

Cash Price $9.99

Consistent quality from a consistent producer.  Flavors of blackberry and black cherry with approachable tannins.  Finish is long with notes of toasted vanilla and hazelnut. Pair with dry aged beef slathered in a portobello mushroom cream sauce.

Castillo Perelada ‘Pescador’ Semi-Sparkling Rose N/V

Emporda, Spain

Cash Price $7.99

This Garnacha blend Dry Rose offers a natural spritz that gives this wine a refreshing quality with flavors of red cherries and red berries. The finish shows wild strawberry and rose petals with zesty acidity. Pair with gummy bears and skittles.

Terra Nossa White Blend N/V

Vinho Verde, Portugal

Cash Price $7.99

Here is the perfect summer spritz white wine. Terra Nossa is light, clean, low alcohol and delightfully fizzy. Flavors of apple and pear are followed by a citrus backbone with vibrant acidity. Pair with oysters on the half shell and     mignonette sauce. Refreshing!

Steffen Kabinett Riesling 2016

Mosel, Germany

Cash Price $6.99

German Riesling is an amazingly versatile white wine that is often overlooked in the market. Kabinett Riesling’s are off-dry (just a hint of sweetness). Notes of white peach, apple and grapefruit explode in the palate with fresh acidity and hints of beeswax and white flowers.   Pair with spicy chicken fajitas!

Otto Bestue Finca Rableros Red Blend 2015

Somontano, Spain

Cash Price $9.99

This Cabernet/Tempranillo blend is playful yet structured in style. Flavors of red cherry and red berries are lifted into a medium body. Notes of vanilla and red licorice are prevalent on the finish with just a kiss of oak. Pair this with peppercorn crusted lamb.

Thank you,

James C. Barlow, CWE, CSS


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Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

Holy Heat Waves!  It is hot outside!  I have picked thirteen dynamic summer style wines that are sure to be rock stars at your Independence Day party or just a good way to impress friends and family at the house.  As to open your mind to the brilliance of Burgundy, I have chosen 3 different Chardonnay’s from 3 different regions in Burgundy to highlight in this blog.  I want to show you the amazing diversity that this region has to offer.  I implore you to try all 3 for yourself and fall in love with the complexity of Burgundian Chardonnay!  Enjoy!

I am thinking of starting my classes back up.  I have recently travelled to Burgundy to become a Wine Ambassador as well as visited Bordeaux En Primeur this year.  Would you all be interested in attending Burgundy/Bordeaux classes as well as other themed topics?

My main obstacle for these classes is finding a venue.  Does anyone know of a good inexpensive spot to host these classes?  I’m all ears!

Clone 5 Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Alexander Valley, California

Cash Price $24.99

Alexander Valley is producing some of the sleekest Cabernet Sauvignon in all California.  The wine are rich and voluptuous, yet have a subtle complexity that many Napa Valley Cabs lack.  This wine offers beautifully dark fruits of black cherry and blackberry that lead into medium tannins and acids.  Plush and balanced the mid palate shows crushed blueberry pie with hints of exotic spice in the mid palate.  The finish is long and pure with notes of cedar, vanillin and dark chocolate that linger for quite awhile.  Yum! James Score: 92 Points

Louis Pommery Brut N/V California


Cash Price $19.94

This is the bubbles you should be popping for your 4th of July celebrations!  The wine is a 96% Chardonnay/4% Pinot Noir blend picked from unique parcels throughout California.  Pommery pops like sparkling fireworks glittering through the glass with tantalizingly tight bubbles.  Flavors of crisp green apples lead into the palate with plenty of citrus notes through ripe acidity.  The mid palate offers a creamy sensation with hints of cake batter and buttered croissants. The finish is easy with a tropical feel of peaches and mango.  Pop these bubbles TODAY!  James Score: 90 Points

Blason de Bourgogne Chardonnay 2015

Pouilly Fuisse, France

Cash Price $21.84

The 2015 vintage in Burgundy (especially the Maconnais) showed a vivid ripeness that verged on hedonism.  One can easily notice the stunning fruit forward characteristics in this vintage as compared to the 2014 or 2016 vintages.  The Maconnais was dry and warm which allowed for ripe grapes.  Tropical flavors of pineapple and mango flow smoothly through medium acids with hints of acacia.  The mid palate offers hints of papaya and key lime with smidgeons of butterscotch and almonds.  The finish is fresh and appealing with licks of cedar and vanilla cream.  James Score: 91 Points

Domaine Seguinot-Bordet Chardonnay 2016

Chablis, France

Cash Price $21.84

The 2016 vintage was an extremely challenging vintage for Burgundy.  Between frost, hail storms, and rain the crops were very low yielding.  In fact, Chablis (although consistent) lost a large amount of crop due to frost.  That said, the wines produced show a beautiful purity of freshness and minerality that the 2015’s lacked.  This wine offers aromas of fresh meadow flowers of dandelion and gardenias. The palate shows flavors of Granny Smith apples and citrus lemon/lime with medium plus acidity and no perceptible notes of oak.  Fresh and zingy, the mid palate becomes a touch tropical with hints of orange blossom and white peach.  The finish is clean, pure and refreshing.  James Score: 90 Points

Chateau Du Santenay ‘Clos de la Chaise Dieu’ Chardonnay 2014

Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Beaune, France

Cash Price $19.94

The 2014 vintage was a hard one for the region of Beaune due to a hailstorm that ripped through the vineyards on June 28th.  This hailstorm caused many farmers to lose half (if not more) of their crop.  So the vintage is quite low yielding, but extremely high quality.  The Hautes Cotes de Beaune is located in the higher elevations and was mostly spared of the hailstorm.  This vineyard called ‘The Seat of God’ is set in the hills next to St. Aubin.  Flavors of fleshy green apples and ripe pear flow into the palate with medium plus acidity.  The mid palate offers hints of white flowers with notes of citrus.  The finish is light and accommodating with hints of chalk, salinity and just a kiss of lemon butter.  James Score: 89 Points

Casa Gran del Siurana ‘Cruor’ Red Blend 2014

Priorat, Spain

Cash Price $18.99

The wine is a 42% Samso (Carignan)/38% Garnatxa (Garnacha)/20% Syrah blend and aged for 14 months in new and used French oak.  Cruor is a power bomb from start to finish.  Intense flavors of black berry and currant smash into medium plus tannins and medium acids.  The mid palate shows black cherry and plum with a smoky aroma that leads to hints of roasted meat and black pepper.  The finish is thick and robust with notes of dark chocolate, tea leaf, and coffee grounds.  Always a favorite!  James Score: 92 Points

Ampelos Rose 2017

Sta. Rita Hills, California

Cash Price $19.94

This delightful Rose is a blend of 77% Syrah/17% Grenache/6% Riesling that is hand harvested with biodynamic and sustainably farmed grapes and fermented with native yeast.  Ampelos is a dry Rose that offers a decadent nose of perfumed red roses and wild white flowers.  The palate flows elegantly with ripe strawberry and candied cherries with medium acidity.  The mid palate offers cherry creamsicle  that wafts through the rich red fruits.  The finish is clean and pure with hints of ocean spray and wild berries.  Knock me down yummy!  James Score: 91 Points

Dante Robino Reserva Malbec 2015

Mendoza, Argentina

Cash Price $17.99

Robino is 100% Malbec aged for 12 months in new and used French oak.  Bodega Dante Robino has become a gem in our portfolio from South America.  The wines are over achievers at a moderate price point.  This wine offers thick and robust flavors of plum and black cherry with medium tannins and acids.  The mid palate shows blackberry and currant with a silky mouth feel that starts to offer creamy vanilla.  The finish is delicious with notes of toasted graham crackers, exotic spice and cedar. Pair this with your meats on the grill this weekend!  James Score: 90 Points

Cavalierino ‘Donna Enrica’ Red Blend 2011

Toscana, Italy

Cash Price $19.89

I loved aged Tuscan wines.  This wine is a blend of 25% Sangiovese/25% Cabernet Sauvignon/25% Merlot/25% Shiraz aged in stainless steel for 6 months.  Cavalierino enjoys a unique and privileged position in the beautiful high hills of Poggiano within a stone’s throw from the historical towns of Montepulciano and Pienza just south of Siena.  The wine is drinking beautifully right now.  Ripe flavors of red raspberry and cranberry zing into medium acidity and tannins.  The mid palate is juicy with hints of succulent cherry and red berries.  The finish is easy with tinges of violets, spice and vanilla.  James Score: 88 Points

Tiberio Cerasuolo D’Abruzzo Rose 2016

Abruzzo, Italy

Cash Price $18.69

I love Rose from this region in Italy.  Tiberio is made entirely from indigenous Montepulciano d’Abruzzo grapes using only free run juice in order to keep the slightly darker color of tradition.  Juicy flavors of raspberry and strawberry zing into this un-oaked beauty with medium plus acidity that leaves the palate refreshed and ready for more.  Notes of wild red roses and intense red cherries race into hints of sage and white pepper.  The finish is pure and mouth watering.  James Score: 90 Points

Domaine Haut Gleon Rouge 2014

Valee Du Paradis, France

Cash Price $14.99

Ready for your BBQ wine for the 4th of July?  Look no further than Haut Gleon Rouge.  It is a blend of 60% Grenache/25% Syrah/15% Carignan from old vines and aged in neutral French oak.  The wine is fruit forward and spicy from the start.  Flavors of pomegranate and framboise explode from the palate with medium acidity and tannins.  The mid palate shows a juicy starburst core with exotic spices throughout.  The finish is soft and mellow with touches of coffee beans and salty roasted meats and nuts.  James Score: 88 Points

Vina Robles ‘Red 4’ Red blend 2013

Paso Robles, California

Cash Price $13.99

Vina Robles is one of my favorite wineries in Paso Robles.  They consistently offer great wines under $20. It is a Rhone-ish style blend of 41% Petite Sirah/40% Syrah/9%Grenache/10% Mourvedre and aged for 16 months in European and American oak barrels.  Red 4 is produced from the rolling hills of the Huerhuero vineyards on their estate.  Harmoniously ripe, the wine offers flavors of pomegranate and black cherry with a silky cream core.  The mid palate shows medium acids and tannins with notes of plum, ripe raspberry and caramel.  The finish is supple and smooth with creamy vanilla, milk chocolate and just a touch of savory spice.  Red 4 is a steal at this price point!  James Score: 89 Points

Chateau Bonnet Red Blend 2014

Bordeaux, France

Cash Price $12.99

Chateau Bonnet is an often over-looked charming gem of a 50% Cabernet Sauvignon/50% Merlot red blend.  It is perfectly suited for most dinner foods. This quite pleasurable wine offers flavors of red cherry and raspberry that lead into medium tannins and acids.  The mid palate is classic Bordeaux with smidgeons of dust, strawberry and red berries.  The finish is easy and pleasing with subtle notes of spice.  James Score: 88 Points

Thank you!

James C. Barlow, CWE, CSS



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Hennessy 26

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