I have been a loyal Wine Library customer for many... many years (we're talking before Gary V became the non-snobberish Robert Parker of our time!)
I remember the original, single-floor store with waist-high wooden racks on the floor, the left wall was jug wine, the right wall was liquor and the back wall was American cabs/merlot/zins, etc. It's a far cry from today's multi-level wine mecca with gourmet market and upstairs wine vault for the loads and loads of 'treasure' wines. My, how times have changed.
Gary took over operation of the store from his Dad and single-handedly turned it into one of, if not THE, premier wine store in the country. From his minimal mark-ups (read cheapest prices to be found), to his zany (but contagious) passion for wine, to his use of all the "hip" technology there is (Twitter, facebook, and Wine Library TV), there is no arguing he is one of America's great wine salesman... and spokesman. And he just didn't stop at selling wine... he tried his hands at blending it too with this '04 cuvee:
2004 Thunder Cuvee, Napa Valley, California
This is an interesting blend of 48% merlot, 34% sangiovese, 15% syrah and 3% cabernet sauvignon. On the nose, this is definitely "in your face" with cherry, strawberry and raspberry scents. This is all mixed with a good dose of oak (vanilla and wood scents). Once you sip it, you realize the wine isn't so "in your face" as you might expect. More of the same but more sour cherry, rather than sweet... almost a hint of cranberry. Smooth tannins and mild acidity makes this easy to drink now. The finish is a little short, but this is just supposed to be a every-day wine... not something special.
My Rating: Good
Where to Buy: Wine Library