Raymond, Raj and Andrew Storm The Hilltop

On January 8, 2016 Raymond invited himself and a few friends (he has a habit of doing that) to The Hilltop Winery for a wine reception hosted by Mike and Mav and then off to one of his favorite restaurants in the Pacific Palisades, Casa Nostra.

The weather that particular Friday was stunning!

The evening wouldn’t be complete unless his favorite mother-in-law (he only has one by the way) joined us on The Hilltop Winery for the festivities.  Oh, she also just happened to be his transportation from the airport to the house or should I say Villa.

The festivities began promptly at 4:00 p.m. with a twist this visit, Mike made everyone a specialty cocktail to start the party!  He made tangerine martini’s using freshly picked produce from his backyard as well as his favorite vodka, Tito’s.

Once we all settled down and said our hello’s, finished our martini’s, we proceeded to the cellar where the real party began.  Hold that thought, the special guests were given a second specialty cocktail, a burnt grapefruit vodka soda!

Now settled, in the cellar, and in honor of Andrew’s birth year, and the fact that Raymond got married that same year, the Sommelier (Mike) pulled a very nice 1991 Staglin Cabernet Sauvignon.

We couldn't stop there so we had to pull a wine in celebration of Raj’s birth year and Mike pulled a 1990 Chateau Clerc Milon Bordeaux.

Both needed a little time to breath and then both were consumed and enjoyed by all.

Well it was now time to go to Casa Nostra for our 6:30 p.m. reservation so we took an Aubert Chardonnay, a Brander Cabernet Sauvignon and rounded it out by taking a Frank Family Cabernet Sauvignon.

Here’s the entire list of wines we drank throughout the weekend on The Hilltop Winery. Thanks Mike and Mav for another wonderful weekend!


  • 2013 Aubert Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast (2 bottles)
  • 2014 Carmenet Chardonnay Reserve (2 bottles)


  • 1990 Chateau Clerc Milon Bordeaux
  • 1991 Staglin Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
  • 2002 Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
  • 2009 Frank Family Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
  • 2010 La Follette Pinot Noir, Dunah Vineyard, Russian River
  • 2011 Alto Moncayo Garnacha, Spain
  • 2011 La Follette Pinot Noir, Sangiacomo Vineyard, Sonoma Coast
  • 2014 Brander Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Ynez Valley

For pictures of the evening go HERE.