Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Bounty Hunter Staff Tastes Through the Fall 2015 Catalog - Part 2

In Part Two of our Fall Preview, we’ll introduce you to some of the spirits that raised us from the dead this week and will be sure to rattle your bones when they’re shipped straight to you later this Fall. 
A few years ago when we seized the opportunity to add world-class spirits to the Bounty Hunter lineup, this room full of full-fledged wine geeks couldn’t contain our excitement. As wine country insiders, we’re well aware that it takes a whole lot of whiskey (and bourbon, and vodka, and rum, and…) to make world-class wine. Another season brings us the opportunity to introduce you to some great new distillations, while reuniting you with some old favorites.
Buy American, Drink Bourbon Gift 3-pack ($174.99, page 18)
(Old Forester Straight Kentucky Bourbon, Bounty Hunter Selection, Eagle Rare 10yr Bounty Hunter Selection, and Russell’s 10yr Reserve Bounty Hunter Selection)
Because: America. All three of these Bounty Hunter Selections were absolutely killer, and for an average price of $58, superb values. Because our stocks are dwindling, these are available only in this custom gift pack. Feel free to gift it to yourself, you patriot.
Blade & Bow 22yr Straight Bourbon Whiskey ($249.99, page 21) 
While the phenomenon surrounding a certain cult 23 year old bourbon is understandable, the pricing has skyrocketed to over $2,000 per bottle (if you can find it). This exceptional Kentucky bourbon from Blade & Bow was made in the same Stitzel-Weller distillery frequented by everyone’s favorite Grand-Pappy and is nearly as old. Coconutty, spicy, ethereal and creamy, with that gorgeous rancio note only two decades in the barrel can bring. This is absolutely stunning bourbon. When you taste it, you’ll understand why we limited folks to one bottle, and you’ll thank us for saving you $2k.
Germain-Robin “Old Havana” Bounty Hunter Single Barrel Selection Brandy ($121.45, page 22)
The name is misleading, as this is an American answer to Cognac, not to Cuban rum. Sauntering, complex, spice-cakey, serenely beautiful brandy.
El Dorado 21yr Rum, Guyana ($99.99, page 23)
Incredibly concentrated, intense rum. How many other spirits that are clearly some of the best in the world in their category – and this old – are obtainable for just one Benjamin?
Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacão, Switzerland ($37.99, page 23)
Do you remember the sensation of putting headphones on for the first time when you were a kid? Hearing music in the center of your head, instead of from speakers across the room? This is like that, but with chocolate, and this time it is happening inside your face. Imagine layers of powdered cocoa dusting a savory, but not-too-sweet core, and you’ll begin to hear the melody for yourself.
Fuenteseca 7yr “Extra Añejo” Tequila, Jalisco ($184.99, page 24)
Añejos aged this long are exceedingly rare, but tasting this made us wonder why more producers don’t do it. If you like great single malt scotch, treat yourself to a bottle of this one.
Dillon’s “Dry Gin 7” Ontario, Canada ($39.99, page 25)
Such a delicate, pillowy gin, with incredible, gentle complexity. Quite simply one of the best gins we’ve ever tasted. Distilled from rye, of all things.

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Bounty Hunter Staff Tastes Through the Fall 2015 Catalog - Part 1

This week we were treated to a privilege here at the ol’ Bounty Hunter hitching post: the whole team tasted through more than half of the wines in our Fall Catalog.
Like you, we are wine maniacs – from the accountants to the ecommerce team and every Wine Scout in between – and we get really animated when we taste great stuff. We thought we would take a few lines to highlight the nectars that had people murmuring around the meeting table.  Not sure what to buy from the catalog? Consider this your insider’s preview:

2012 Continuum Red, Napa Valley ($199.99, page 5)
Tim Mondavi’s first 100% Estate release from his Pritchard Hill estate. A big, bold, ripe Cabernet, this will be a collector’s item one day. The legacy lives on.
2013 Streamside Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley ($16.95, page 10)
How many Sauvignon Blancs would you call “slurpable?” This one is right clean down the fairway – not too innocuous, not in any way feral. Not face-caving tart, not low-acid blowsy. Just an eminently drinkable bottle of Sauvignon. Bravo!
2013 Collosorbo “RGS” Sant’Antimo Rosso ($34.95, page 10)
“Really Good Stuff.”  Sant’Antimo is the appellation the folks in Montalcino created in 1996 to accommodate wines that did not meet the varietal requirements of Brunello di Montalcino. Then in 2008 numerous producers were caught with their pants down, adding Cabernet Sauvignon to their Sangiovese and illegally calling it Brunello. Legally, they should have bottled such wines as Sant’Antimo. If you want to know why they pushed their luck and added Cabernet, try a bottle of RGS.
2012 Domaine du Penlois “Lancié” Beaujolais-Villages ($13.95, page 12)
Long ago, at another domaine in Beaujolais, we spotted a barrel with the letters “P.M.G.” written in chalk. What does this mean?” we asked the winemaker. “Pour ma gueule,” he said. “For my gullet.” Say no more.
2013 Calot “Cuvée Jeanne” Morgon ($27.95, page 13)
If you love Pinot Noir or Red Burgundy, here’s a wine you can pop on a weeknight without guilt, from Mr. Jean Calot, a late master of this Beaujolais Cru. Cherries, orange rind, cinnamon.
2013 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre “Les Romains” Blanc ($69.95, page 13)
What would Grand Cru White Burgundy taste like if it were made with Sauvignon Blanc? It would taste like this. Long, succulent, minerally, lemon-scented. Truly world-class wine.
2012 Ehlers Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena ($54.95, page 26)
Absolutely textbook Saint Helena Cabernet, brimming with black and blue fruit, and in no way overripe. Underpriced by about $30.
2012 Montagna “Tre Vigneti” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($59.95, page 29)
What it says in the catalog is absolutely correct – this is one of the finest values going in Napa Valley Cabernet. This wine deserves your attention, because it seized ours. From Pritchard Hill, which is a hotspot for quality, (e.g. Colgin, Bryant Family, Chappellet, Continuum, David Arthur) this is deep and complex and ripe without being heavy. A tour de force, this pantses far more expensive wines up and down the valley and back again.
2013 Hanzell Pinot Noir “Sebella,” Sonoma Valley ($59.99, page 31)
Made mostly from the Terra di Promisio vineyard in Petaluma Gap, it’s no surprise that this has such class and poise. Really superb. Hanzell has been making great Pinot Noir since 1957.  
2013 Clos du Mont Olivet “Petit Mont” Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($39.95, page 32)
We consulted the rulebook, and it doesn’t say anywhere that great Châteauneuf has to be $50.  This one has it all: sweet forest floor aromas, cinnamon, raspberry jam, and puffs of cocoa powder. 
2013 Laird “Cold Creek” Chardonnay, Carneros ($29.95, page 36)
Oh, ok. We see that Paul Hobbs made this. Now it makes sense. Year in and year out, this is one of our top picks in Carneros Chardonnay. Big? Yes. Buttery? Yep. Are we apologizing for loving it? Absolutely not. Bring it on home.

That wraps up our vinous rundown.  Stay tuned for our next post on all things distilled!