About this Offering

261: California, Oregon and Spain



Jane's Coups de Coeur - 261 - How it works?

Jane Masters, our curator of fine wines, travels the world searching for boutique vineyards and notable winemakers to discover their techniques and sample their wines. Using her expert palate, Jane tastes over 100 wines per Cellar Offering in order to determine which wines embody the essence of the winemaker, region and grape. Then she narrows down the list to between 50 and 60 wines that provide our members with the best value, quality and experience. Only then does a wine make it to the pages of our Cellar Offering. While all wines that appear in the offering meet Jane's exacting standards, there are always a few that stand out from the crowd - her Coups de Cœur.


Everyday Drinking


Cellaring Potential

LOT 9878
Butterfly Ridge Chardonnay,
Monterey County, 2016
  LOT 9920
Finca El Lince,
DOP Jumilla, 2016
  LOT 9895
Hook & Ladder The Tillerman,
Estate Bottled,
Russian River Valley, 2015
  LOT 9898
Hook & Ladder Cabernet Sauvignon, Los Amigos Ranch, Estate Bottled, Chalk Hill, 2015

Bird's Eye View - 261 - How it works?

In his Bird’s Eye View feature, Carl will select 2 or 3 wines per offering that “catch his eye”. Each wine that is selected is one which Carl has personally tasted a previous vintage. As much as possible, Carl will taste the wine at the time the offering is active and will provide actual tasting notes for that wine. In some cases, it will be a wine that he has had often before and has enjoyed many times. Either way, you can be assured that he is giving his opinion based on having tasted previous vintages of the wine. After all, first-hand knowledge is the best kind of all. And wouldn’t everyone like to have a Bird’s Eye View of the world of wine?

Lot 9883 – Duxinaro Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, 2016

Wine tasted: Lot 9341 – Duxinaro Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 2016


The Russian River AVA came into existence in 1983. It accounts for about one sixth of the total vineyard acreage in Sonoma County. Fog generated from the valley’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean result in a characteristically cool climate, making it an ideal location for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Duxinaro Chardonnay from Mountain View Winery is a prime example of the elegance of Chardonnay from this region. Clear and bright the lemon-green colour sparkles in the glass. Aromas are of toasted oak, nuts, pineapple and mown hay. Dry with good acidity levels and medium to high alcohol, this wine has good body. The flavours are mostly pronounced and mirror the nose. Pineapple, nuts and citrus are present. The oak is there but not overpowering. There is a slight creaminess but not too much. The wine has a steely texture that results in a long acidic finish that is very pleasing.

  • Appearance: Clear, lemon green with a brilliant hue. Legs are formidable.
  • Nose: Clean, medium (+) intensity of tropical fruit – pineapple, mango – and nuts and mown hay. A slight aroma of toasted oak provides secondary aroma from oak aging. This wine is still very youthful.
  • Palate: Dry white wine with medium (+) acidity, medium (+) alcohol. The medium (+) body surrounds the medium (+) intensity of the flavours – Pineapple and mango are predominant. Lemony citrus is in the background and slight flavours of eucalyptus are also present. The toasted oak is balanced with terrific acidity that persists for a long finish. There is a steeliness to the texture at the end that balances the creaminess at the beginning.
  • Conclusion: This is a very good wine that you can drink now but which will improve with about 3 – 4 years of aging in a good cellar. It has nice balance, great acidity and a depth of flavours.

We paired this wine with shrimp and peanut butter tofu Pad Thai.

Lot 9882 - Butterfly Ridge Pinot Noir, Central Coast, 2017

Wine tasted: Lot 9430 – Butterfly Ridge Pinot Noir, Central Coast, 2016


The grapes used to make this wine come from the Santa Maria Vineyard in Santa Barbara County. This part of the central coast is known for producing elegant, approachable Pinot Noir. This Butterfly Ridge Pinot Noir is no exception. Its clear, medium ruby colour is brilliant and inviting. The aroma is clean with a slight note of pepper and with red fruit and herbal nuances. On the palate it is dry and acidic. Medium to high alcohol is accompanied by supple but present tannins. Sour cherries are the dominant fruit but I also noticed a distinct flavour of kirsch and undertones of charred wood.

The first bottle I opened had excess volatile acidity. It had a distinct medicinal taste which was not pleasant. I will let it sit for a while and see if it dissipates. Second bottle was much better.

  • Appearance: Clear, medium ruby, brilliant.
  • Nose: Clean, medium intensity aromas of pepper, red fruit and herbal nuances. A touch of cooked fruit as well. A touch of cedar. This wine is still very youthful.
  • Palate: Dry red wine with medium (+) acidity, medium (+) tannins and medium (+) alcohol. The medium (+) body surrounds the medium (+) intensity of the flavours – sour cherry, kirsch, ripe red fruit and charred wood. The finish is medium (+) in length and is dominated by the acidity and the kirsch. It is slightly out of balance but that could improve with a couple of years in the cellar.
  • Conclusion: This is a good wine that you can drink now but I think the finish will balance out as the acidity subsides over time and the fruit comes to the forefront.
Lot 9924 Val de los Frailes Rosado, DO Cigales, 2017, Bodega Valdelosfrailes, Grupo Matarromera

Wine tasted: Lot 9366 – Val de los Frailes Rosado, DO Cigales, 2016, Bodega Valdelosfrailes, Grupo Matarromera


Tempranillo is used in the making of this rosé. The climate is warm continental with long hot summers which are influenced by breezes from the Atlantic. This results in high diurnal range which allows the acidity to develop and the grapes to fully ripen. The colour extraction from the grapes is quite high in this terrific rosé. I tasted Lot 9366 from C252.

  • Appearance: Clear and vibrant. Medium Intensity pink, almost cotton candy colour.
  • Nose: This simple wine is clean with medium intensity aromas of red fruits such as raspberry, strawberry, and cranberry. It is a touch herbal. The wine is youthful.
  • Palate: Dry rosé with medium plus acidity, medium (-) tannins and medium alcohol. This medium (-) body wine has medium intensity flavours of raspberries and strawberries with a little tartness of cranberries. The tartness of the cranberry and the nice acidity persist in a medium (+) finish.
  • Conclusion: This is a very good wine which would be well received in my cellar. It is a wine that is ready to drink and would not benefit from further aging. Enjoy it as soon as summer arrives next year.

No food with this one. Simply sipped a well-chilled bottle on my hot patio.