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2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Regular price $40.00 Compare at: $100-$150
(price for the same wine under its original label)
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Recognition

98 points from Jeb Dunnuck, who named the 2018 vintage from this winery as the best release to date from this esteemed winemaker.

The most recent two vintages of this wine have scored between 94-96 points from The Wine Advocate and Vinous.

Tasting Notes

The Russian River Valley needs no introduction, for those who know good Pinot Noir, and the 2018 vintage is considered one of the appellation’s best in recent memory. The excellent growing season produced grapes of exceptional balance that yielded a wine resonate with dark and red fruit flavors accented by spicy notes of berry jam and framed by a savory edge of truffle, roasted root vegetables and a hint of bacon. The wine’s enticing aromas of fresh strawberry and other dark fruits are complemented by more savory essences as everything comes together in a long and refreshing mouthfeel that showcases the vintage’s outstanding structure.  

Best paired with: Anything you like. Good pinot is one of the most versatile wines and while I might avoid a very fatty cut of red meat, this would be a great warm-up bottle  while you sear ribeyes in the cast iron. 

The Story

Let's say that it wasn't 2020 and EVERY restaurant in America wasn't shut down, and you were going to a not-to-be-named 2-Michelin starred restaurant. You might then peruse the wine list and ask the Somm for a recommendation and she would tell you about this fantastic small-production Russian River Pinot from a Sonoma winery that is highly acclaimed. She insists it's a steal for $140. 

But we are in 2020 and restaurants were closed for months. Originally destined for restaurants, this wine had no place to go. We made a connection with the owner, tasted the wine, and confirmed the provenance, then made a deal that we could all be happy with.

Wine Stats

Blend: 100% pinot noir 
- AVA: Russian River Valley 
- ABV14.1%  
- Drinking windowThis wine will hold up at least fifteen years, no problem. Open your first bottles in mid-2020

- Comparable price: $100 - $150

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2018 Russian River Valley Chardonnay
2018 Russian River Valley Chardonnay

2018 Russian River Valley Chardonnay

Regular price $36.00 Compare at: $75-$120
(price for the same wine under its original label)
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Recognition

95+ points from Jeb Dunnuck, who named the 2018 vintage from this winery as the best release to date from this esteemed winemaker.

The last two consecutive vintages have received 96+ points from The Wine Advocate and Jeb Dunnuck.

Tasting Notes

The 2018 Russian River Valley Chardonnay comes from three of the oldest vineyards in the Green Valley area of Sonoma County’s Russian River Appellation, which is one of California’s most celebrated sources of Burgundian varietals. Excellent conditions throughout the 2018 season allowed the grapes to mature slowly picking up fresh fruit flavors of apricot, nectarine and lemon zest while they maintained their crisp, natural acidity. In addition to giving the wine a refreshing finish, it’s structure also delivers a lightness on the palate that will make this your go-to white wine. 

Best paired with: Your last Zoom call of the day; maybe in your coffee mug to give the allure of "I'm having a late afternoon caffeine-fix so I can power through until 7pm" vibe.

The Story

Let's say that it wasn't 2020 and EVERY restaurant in America wasn't shut down, and you were going to a not-to-be-named 2-Michelin starred restaurant. You might then peruse the wine list and ask the Somm to pair something with your Atlantic Halibut. She tells you that the '90 Montrachet is one of kind, though you're not quite ready to part with a house payment to make it your own. She then recommends a special Russian River Chardonnay from an exclusive Sonoma winery. $120 seems like steal and you pat yourself on the back for showing real restraint.

But we are in 2020 and restaurants were closed for months. Originally destined for restaurants, this wine had no place to go. We made a connection with the owner and picked up a small parcel of this wine along with its brother, the Russian River Pinot Noir, and we're happy to bring it to you for 70% off.

Wine Stats

- Blend: 100% Chardonnay
- AVA: Russian River Valley (Green Valley area)
- ABV: 14.1%
- Drinking window: 2020-2030
- Comparable price: $75 - $120

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2017 Yountville Deux
2017 Yountville Deux

2017 Yountville Deux

Regular price $32.00 Compare at: $100+
(price of Bordeaux blends from this producer)
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Recognition

Recent Bordeaux blends from this winery scored 91-93 points from Wine Enthusiast and James Suckling.

You’ll find this winery’s merlot on the wine list at The French Laundry. One notable difference? The three digit price tag.

Tasting Notes

Deux means two. But you knew that. This blend of Cab Franc and Merlot is phenomenally rich and if you managed to snag a bottle of our Diamond Mountain version of this wine a couple of years back, this wine is a step ahead! 

The wine delivers focused dark fruit and vanilla aromas, with a core to match that surround the  fine tannins. Yountville is one Napa's smaller AVAs and probably better known for The French Laundry, but its location near the southern end of the Valley means that it is slightly cooler and has a bit longer growing season. That allows for the depth of flavor to develop in red wines without super-high alcohol. 

Best paired with: If it goes in your mouth, it will go with this wine. Five Guys? Absolutely. Cold pizza by the light of the refrigerator, you bet. Maybe avoid spicy foods though. 

The Story

Summer of 2019, I (Brian, Claudine co-owner) was vacationing in Provence and met the owner of a well-known Napa winery in Calistoga. One thing led to another, and a few weeks later, I found myself in their cellar, crawling over barrels that needed to move to make room for the rapidly-approaching harvest. We were able to negotiate incredible pricing on these delicious wines on two conditions: we had to commit to purchasing a bit more wine than we normally would - and we had to take possession quickly. As Retherfords, we appreciate a serious deal and relish a serious challenge (in that order) and this proposal afforded ample opportunity for both. 

Wine Stats

- Production: 214 cases - most ever 
- Blend:  50% Cabernet Franc, 50% Merlot 
- AVA: Yountville, Napa Valley 
- ABV: 15.0% 
- Drinking window: 2019-2029
- Comparable price: $100+

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2017 Signature Series Pinot Noir
2017 Signature Series Pinot Noir

2017 Signature Series Pinot Noir

Regular price $49.00 Compare at: $80-$120
(typical price for pinot noirs from this producer)
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Recognition

A recent vintage of this winery’s pinot received 94 points from Jeb Dunnuck and the winery had a 100-point rockstar wine within the last 5 years. Additionally, their winemaker was called one of “9 best consulting winemaker’s in Napa” by Robert Parker. 

Say you decide to spend your child’s college fund on a cult-wine dinner; no one would bat an eye when put this winery’s stuff in the same lineup as Screaming Eagle, Scarecrow, and Harlan.

Tasting Notes

Classic Burgundy, with the weight of California Pinot. On the nose, aromas of rose petal, earth and hint of vanilla. On the palate, a rich blend of dark cherry and perhaps a black tea note. Finesse and depth, beautifully arranged. 

Best paired with: fish, especially salmon, roasted chicken, pasta with red sauce; aged cheeses.

The Story

Sometimes being at the right place at the right time just pays off! Many of our best finds have come through a little-known network of assistant winemakers within the Valley. They all know each other because they all went to UC-Davis, live in the same areas, and frequent the same local watering holes when not in the cellar. 

We were sampling a few wines for prospective projects and one of these assistant winemakers told us about a friend of theirs at a well-known St. Helena winery. A few text messages later, we were crawling over barrels sampling some incredible reds. 

That chance encounter led to our first two Signature Series wines – those special wines that are a little more than what we would normally like to spend, but were so good that we couldn’t pass up.

Wine Stats

- Production: 92 cases
- Blend: 100% pinot noir 
- AVA: Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma County 
- ABV: 14.0% 
- Drinking window: 2019-2029; drinking beautifully in late 2020 
- Comparable price: $80 - $120

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2017 Yountville Malbec
2017 Yountville Malbec

2017 Yountville Malbec

Regular price $28.00 Compare at: $75+
(price of comparable wine from this producer)
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Recognition

Recent Bordeaux blends from this winery scored 91-93 points from Wine Enthusiast and James Suckling.

Tasting Notes

Deceptively smooth, elegant, with a long (and very purple) finish. 

Indeed, this is not an $8 Argentinian Malbec (that said, if I only had $8 to spend on a bottle, I am going with a Malbec from Argentina). Taste it blind next to your favorite $40 blend and we're sure this one will win - hands down. 

Best paired with: You name it. This wine is versatile enough to pair with anything: from cold Chipotle leftovers to a sous-vide steak dinner.

The Story

Summer of 2019, I (Brian, Claudine co-owner) was vacationing in Provence and met the owner of a well-known Napa winery in Calistoga. One thing led to another, and a few weeks later, I found myself in their cellar, crawling over barrels that needed to move to make room for the rapidly-approaching harvest. We were able to negotiate incredible pricing on these delicious wines on two conditions: we had to commit to purchasing a bit more wine than we normally would - and we had to take possession quickly. As Retherfords, we appreciate a serious deal and relish a serious challenge (in that order) and this proposal afforded ample opportunity for both.

Wine Stats

- Production: 104 cases 
- Blend: 75% Malbec, 12.5% Cabernet Franc, 12.5% Merlot 
- AVA: Yountville, Napa Valley 
- ABV: 15.2% 
- Drinking window: 2019-2026
- Comparable price: $75+

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2016 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
2016 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
2016 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

2016 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

Regular price $34.00 Compare at: $60-$80
(typical price for pinot noirs from this producer)
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Recognition

Every pinot noir offered by this winery on its website today has received at least 94 points from a major publication. 

For the wine geeks, the grapes come from the Sanford and Benedict & La Riconada vineyards.

Tasting Notes

This weighty pinot from the Sta. Rita Hills AVA in Santa Barbara County represents our first foray outside of Napa/Sonoma. This pinot saw 16 months in French oak barrels, with 20% being new. Notes of dried cherry, plum and savory spices make this a food-friendly wine for all occasions. 

Best paired with: lean roast beef, roast chicken, duck, salmon, lamb and mushroom dishes (also good slightly chilled on your front porch).

The Story

Winemakers are artists, and in true artistic form the winemaker for this wine decided he wanted a new challenge – working with Central Coast fruit rather than Sonoma. So he sourced grapes from notable vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, worked his magic, and produced an incredible wine. Then, he waited – 16 months in barrel. 

By the time it was ready for bottling, the business side of this notable, allocation-list only winery interceded: “Our philosophy is to produce world class Sonoma County wines!” The Sta. Rita Hills offering, while majestic, simply didn’t fit the brand portfolio. Luckily for us, this type of story fits the Claudine wine brand perfectly, and we’re now able to offer this delicious wine at incredible value. 

Wine Stats

- Production: 147 cases
- Blend: 100% pinot noir
- AVA: Sta. Rita Hills
- ABV: 14.5% 
- Drinking window: 2018-2028
- Comparable Price: $60-$80

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Regular price $50.00
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