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July Wine Club

No Brainer

Failoni Verdicchio

Estate vineyards (2.2 acres) sit at 1,200 feet in altitude, on a series of rolling hills that face south/southeast. Soils are sandy, with veins of limestone. Vines are cared for according to organic principles, but the estate is not officially certified.  The wine is Hand-harvested. Full-cluster press; fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled tanks. Aged in tank for six months on fine lees
Aromas of lemon blossoms, grapefruit zest. Juicy yet balanced and refined; citrus and light almond on the finish. Pairs well with fresh seafood such as oysters or clam and risotto with spring vegetables


Aguijón de Abeja 

A concentrated wine, with good structure. Dark red color. Nose of black pepper, spices and ripe blackberries. Velvety in the mouth with persistent tannins, balanced with a hint of acidity.


Bottle Popper 

Aguijón de Abeja Riserva

 Their wines showcase generous New World fruit with Old World elegance. This delicate balance is a trademark of the Durigutti brothers, two of the most well known young winemakers in Argentina right now. Compared to their other malbec this wine spends an additional 6 months in barrel. 
A well structured wine with a deep red color and hints of violet. Spicy nose of ripe cassis and blackberry. Continued flavors of black fruits with a well balanced and extended finish.


Savvy Sipper 

Domaine Noire Chinon Rouge Dolia

Estate vineyards are located between Chinon and Cravant, on a plateau with mineral-rich, stony soils, and face full south, allowing Cabernet Franc grapes to ripen fully, giving the resulting wines more structure and depth. Vines are on average 30 years old, and are certified organic. Harvest is done by hand, and grapes are destemmed and then fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks.
A “dolia” is the Latinate name for a terracotta amphora that’s specifically made for wine; often up to 3,000L in volume, and tulip-shaped. Winemaker Jean-Max Manceau was inspired by the winemaking practices of antiquity, thus his ‘Dolia,’ a pure Cabernet Franc wine, was aged exclusively in amphorae. Wonderfully textured and silky on the tongue, this ripe and spiced Cabernet Franc would be perfect with refined yet hearty autumn cuisine.

Phillipe Gavignet Bourgogne Pinot Noir

The style of Philippe Gavignet Burgundy “brings back” the profound elegance of Pinot Noir to Nuits-Saint-Georges, an appellation often known for more tannic (and often less balanced) wines. Gavignet wines are solid proof that Nuits has the terroir to produce elegant Burgundy but that it requires a conscientious winemaker such as Philippe to craft it.
Not your “average” Bourgogne Rouge. Gavignet combines fruit from 45+ year old vines grown on two separate plots in Nuits proper; the vineyards’ mineral-rich, silty soils contribute spice and refined tannins. It’s true that you can judge the talents of a winemaker in how he or she treats their “base” wine; this is, hands-down, one of the more refined, character-rich Bourgogne Rouge wines out there.

Cellar Meister

Domaine Vacheron Sancerre Blanc 

Natural winemaking at Domaine Vacheron is second nature. Taking care of the soil, and in turn the vine, is of the utmost importance to the family. Vines have been cared for biodynamically since the early 2000s, and the estate is certified in both organic and biodynamic practices. No synthetic materials whatsoever are used in the vineyards; the family makes its own organic compost. Yields are naturally low. Harvest is exclusively by hand. Grapes are fermented on indigenous yeasts in a combination of stainless-steel or cement tanks and wooden, open-top fermenters. Wines are aged either in large oak cask or French oak barrels, depending on the cru and the vintage, and are bottled unfiltered, according to the lunar cycle. Sourced from hillside vineyards around the town of Sancerre, with a mix of chalk and flint (silex) soils. About 20% of the blend is wine from a selection of single-vineyard plots, which gives more complexity (also some wood influence, as the domaine’s single-vineyard Sancerre Blanc wines are aged in larger wooden casks). Aromas of grapefruit zest and gunflint. Flavors of lemons and limes, sea salt, crisp pears.

Clos du Mont Olivet Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge Cuvee Unique

The family estate of Clos du Mont-Olivet is the collector’s choice for traditional, aromatic and age-worthy southern Rhône blends. This multi- generational estate was one of the first wineries North Berkeley Imports partnered with in the south of France more than 25 years ago; since then, the estate has come to symbolize both what we seek out in winemaker- partners and importantly, what we hold true and dear in great wine. Always elegant, aromatic and long-lived, these wines reflect not only the rich character of southern Rhône terroir but also the subtle, spicy personalities of the region’s native grapes. Clos du Mont-Olivet is “one of the great estates of Châteauneuf-du-Pape,” says the Wine Advocate.
Estate vineyards represent a perfect cross-section of Châteauneuf terroir, unique in its complexity and variety. The lieu-dits ‘Montalivet,’ ‘La Crau,’ ‘Blachieres,’ ‘Coste Froide,’ ‘Bois Seneseau,’ ‘Palestor,’ ‘Bois Dauphin,’ ‘Pied de Baud,’ ‘Les Bosquets,’ ‘Les Parrans’ and ‘Les Marines’ are found in the north/northeast of the appellation. Soils range from clay and sand to alluvial gravel and ‘galets roulés,’ the large quartz stones characteristic of Rhône Valley vineyards
Aromas of blackberry, red cherry and baking spices. Smooth, concentrated yet balanced; flavors of tart cherries, red plums and light licorice. Very long finish. Pairs well with grilled steak; lamb roasted with prunes; olive tapenade.

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