Wine Buyer's Selection: 12 Wines to Drink Now


This week our Wine Buyer, Barry Herbst dives into his current top twelve wines available both in the store and online! If you're looking for something interesting or new to try out, these are a great place to start.

*Note: Pricing at Bottle Barn Santa Rosa may differ.

1. NV Lelarge-Pugeot Tradition Premier Cru Extra Brut
Champagne, France

Retail Price: $40.00
Our Price: $37.99

Why this wine? Because it has the rare combination of nervy, intensely dry finish with a rich toastiness. Particularly rare in a Champagne dominated by Pinot Meunier.

Who’s going to like it? Adventurous eaters and drinkers. If you like exotic cuisine like Kimchi Pork Belly or Sea Breem with lime zest, this sparkler is for you.

Pro Tip: Drink this one out of tulip shaped wine glasses. It will really bring out the toasty aromas and develop nice complexity from the additional aeration.

2. 2017 Chateau d’Epire Savennieres
Loire Valley, France

Retail Price: $25.00
Our Price: $22.99

Why this wine? It’s all about purity. It goes to the core of Chenin Blanc. At once filled with dry pear aromas and flavors then jumping to steely crisp tones of green apple. A marvel of nervy intensity in it’s youth, we have found that these wines generously reward cellar time, fanning out with layers of flavor that include quince, lime and saline minerality.

Who’s going to like it? Simply put, acid freaks. If you like fat, round, buttery rich white wine, steer clear!

3. 2018 G.D. Vajra Rosabella Rosato
Piedmont, Italy

Our Price: $18.49

Why this wine? Because you have never had a rosé quite like this. Loaded with cherry, dried pear and citrus flavors make up the core of this refreshing mildly herbal quaffer. We think Nebbiolo make some of the most interesting rosé out there and wish more people were producing it.

What to serve with this? How about a simple Lemon Arugala Pasta with Burrata Cheese or Salami and Fig Crostini with Ricotta.

4. 2018 Grounded Wine Co. Space Age Rosé of Grenache
Central Coast, CA

Retail Price: $20.00
Our Price: $15.99

Why this wine? Because it never gets tiring and keeps you coming back. This is just what I look for in rosé, easy drinking very clean and lots of bright acidity.

Who’s going to like it? This one covers a lot of bases. Anyone who loves rosé in the summer or year round. This fits the bill for refreshment and value. Not to be missed.

5. 2018 Pax Trousseau Gris Fannuchi-Wood Road Vineyard
Sonoma County, CA

Retail Price: $26.00
Our Price: $19.49

Why this wine? Because we all need to appease the insufferable hipster wine geek in our circle from time to time. Is it white? Is it rosé?  Who cares, it’s delicious. This pushes all the wine geek buttons, carbonic maceration, concrete fermentation, 11.7% alcohol!

Who’s going to like it? See above, add any adventurous drinker.

6. 2017 Nicole Chanrion Domaine de la Voute des Crozes Cote de Brouilly
Beaujolais, France

Retail Price: $24.99
Our Price: $21.49

Why this wine? Simply put, this is reference point Beaujolais. Loaded with red fruits, especially raspberry. This is medium bodied, earthy and very juicy. Bust out the Coq au Vin!

Pro tip: We don’t recommend chilling every Beaujolais, but this one really comes alive with a very slight chill. It really accentuates the red fruit.

7. 2016 Felsina Berardenga Chianti Classico DOCG
Siena, Italy

Retail Price: $28.00
Our Price: $21.99

Why this wine? Once again, a reference point wine for the region. You can count on this wine being solid year in and year out. However, 2016 is a particularly good vintage in the area and for this wine in particular. This has everything I love in Chianti; Leather, game, smoke, tobacco and licorice. 

What to serve with it? Bistecca Alla Fiorentina, Crostini Toscani, Ribollita, Tortellini al Funghi, Crespella

8. 2016 Domaine Joseph Roty Marsannay Rouge
Burgundy, France

Retail Price: $42.99
Our Price: $40.99

Why this wine? Because Burgundy is ridiculously expensive, but I still want to drink it. Good deals are hard to find in Burgundy, but this really fits the bill. It has everything that made me fall in love with Burgundy in the first place; game, bacon fat pure red and blue fruits, grip, etc, etc. 

Who’s going to like it? People who fell in love with Burgundy when it was more affordable, like me.

Pro tip: Open this early and decant, maybe 2-3 hours prior to serving. Cellar temperature or slightly warmer is perfect.

9. 2016 Domaine de Gouye Saint-Joseph Vieilles Vignes
Rhone Valley, France

Retail Price: $40.00
Our Price: $35.99

Why this wine? Because Côte-Rôtie is an incredible wine, but not priced for mid-week consumption. So here is the answer. All the elements of the big brother; violets, smoke leather, blackberry and pepper for less than $40.

Who’s going to like it? Syrah lovers that prefer balance over intensity. Not to say that this lacks intensity. There is plenty of ripeness, but it is framed in an overall seamless package.

10. 2016 Clos des Brusquieres Chateauneuf du Pape
Rhone Valley, France

Retail Price: $45.00
Our Price: $40.99

Why this wine? Because if there was one wine I could probably drink every night, it would be Chateauneuf-du-Pape. This wine is right in my sweet spot, loaded with ripe kirsch-like flavors, tons of cedar and tobacco and a very rich intense finish.

Who’s going to like it? People that don’t like shy wines. Lovers of big, intense, hedonistic reds.

Pro tip: Drink half of this the first night and then try it again the next night. It will blow your mind.

11. 2012 Numanthia Toro
Numanthia Toro, Spain

Retail Price: $53.99
Our Price: $47.99

Why this wine? Because you love Chateauneuf du Pape like I do, this is the Spanish version. This sappy, potent, liquerish elixir is loaded with black and red fruits, tapenade, saddle leather and cracked pepper.

What to serve with it? Anything with lamb in it. Paella, Jamon, Croquettas.

12. 2016 Bella Union Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, California

Retail Price: $80.00
Our Price: $57.99

Why this wine? Because I have to have one guilty pleasure and this is the one. After bad mouthing numerous $200 over the top Napa Cabernets, I have to say I do love this one even though its made in the image of the big dogs. Ripe, concentrated flavors of cassis, espresso and mocha. Very polished oak treatment and very long intense finish.

Who’s going to like it? People that like cult Cabernet, but don’t have the budget or desire to spend that kind of money on Cabernet.


  • Daniel Schoenfeld

    These look good. Except I just don’t do Rose. But Next time in I will have to try the rest. Thanks for the suggestions.

  • Rew Craig

    I love this store and the staff will beat anyone in a blind customer service fight. Awesome and Amazing prices to Boot. I know or have talked to most of them. I have 1 complaint after being there a hundred times in the last 7 years – yeah my favorite place to be it’s true.

    That (1) NV Lelarge-Pugeot Tradition Premier Cru Extra Brut was not toasty and the farthest thing from delicious – it was sour with a weird tang to it. If I could name a flaw I would’ve taken it back. I was extremely displeased – thought it was awful as did my guests.

    However, almost every other recommendation has been above and beyond. Jordan, Zach, Joe, Jason and so many others. Even Crystal in her short stay was fantastic. I truly appreciate the place and please pardon my bitch – I was upset about that bottle, sounds like I still am Lol. I’ll do my own research for sparkling next time and I don’t buy them too often. Thanks for being great – all of you, and taking care of the customers with care and great attitude. I recommend y’all to everyone in the bay area and visiting.

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