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January 24, 2010 | JD DANIEL

California to Lange

Last night we went downtown for a little glass of wine at my favorite local wine bar, The Bounty Hunter. The owner, Mark Pope and his crew really do it right. I travel all over the nation selling our wine to restaurants and wine bars and without a doubt Bounty Hunter is one of the best. Bounty Hunter captures the one thing that most wine bars don’t and that is FUN. This is not your average wine bar. They play rock n’ roll, serve great BBQ and have a wine list that represents wines from all over the world. If you’re feeling a little wild you can even sit in one of their saddle bar stools. They have over 400 bottles of wine in their retail shop, at least 40 wines by the glass and a long list of wine flights. They even have several beers on tap and a beer list that represents much of the globe as well.

I started my night off with a glass of 2008 Hollywood & Vine Chardonnay from Napa Valley. This is a really fantastic winery here in the valley. They are known for their Atlas Peak 2480 Cabernet and Chardonnay. I have had their wines before and have never been let down. The 2008 Chard is 70% barrel fermented and 30% tank fermented. It has nice acidity and flavors of crisp apple, pineapple, strawberries and pears. The mid-pallet is full and rich and has a ton of butterscotch, baking spice and vanilla. The finish was a little short at first but once it opened up a bit it lingered and lingered.

After the butterscotch bomb, I was warmed up and ready to move into an interesting red wine. We decided on a bottle of 2006 Gaja Sito Morresco (Lange, Italy). The Sito Morresco was awesome. It was very tight when we first opened it so we decanted it for a while and then dug in. I don’t have a lot of experience with Nebbiolo’s and blends so this was a rare and fun treat for me. This wine is 35% Nebbiolo, 35% Merlot, 30% Cabernet it is stylistically contemporary in pallet, has great fruit and is much more reasonably priced then Angelo Gaja’s main label. The wine had nice floral notes, deeply concentrated cherry flavors and little hints of orange peel.

For more information about the Bounty Hunter please visit

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