Showing posts with label 2015. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2015. Show all posts

Monday, September 24, 2018

2015 Flora Springs Trilogy

2015 Flora Springs Trilogy

The 2015 Trilogy red wine from Flora Springs is a solid pleasure provider that was the star of the show on Cabernet Day this year, hands down!  Incredibly dark purple in the glass, the blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (82%), Malbec (10%) and Petit Verdot (8%) is a slice of heaven in the glass.  So much flavor and elegance with sweet plum, tar, black currant, cedar shavings and black cherry showing off the fine tannins and long legs.  For such a young wine, this one is incredibly velvety on the tongue and the finish and you would swear it has been in the bottle closer to 10 years.  The fruit aromas carry over to the flavors and there is a sweetness that is reminiscent of swirling my vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup together as a kid.  The price point adds to the attractiveness of such a remarkable wine and while it would pair amazingly with a brisket, I chose to drink this one unaided and with a smile on my face ... and my glass!


2015 Flora Springs Trilogy label

ABV:  14.5%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $80.00

Drink The Bottles score:  94/100


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

2015 MERF Cabernet Sauvignon

2015 MERF Cabernet Sauvignon

Here's a brand new wine label that I frankly, hadn't heard of but of course, I'm always eager to learn something new.  This 2015 MERF Cabernet Sauvignon is staight out of Columbia Valley, Washington, where many of my favorite red blends were born and raised.  A combination of Cabernet Sauvignon (81%), Merlot (17%) and Merlot (2%), this easy-to-imbibe red is a little fruity on the nose and at first sip.  Blueberry, vanilla and sweet spices predominantly fill the glass and if you like a softer, more subtle Cabernet blend, this is your jam!  In the mouth is more of the same but black raspberry and sweet tobacco round out the flavor profile with a very short finish.   My recommendation is to drink this with a bloody, salty, bone-in slab of beef or some hot Virginia ham and Swiss cheese sandwiches with spicy mustard.  It would be a match made in heaven.

2015 MERF Cabernet Sauvignon label

ABV:  14.5%

Columbia Valley, Washington

Suggested retail price:  $12.99

Drink The Bottles score:  82/100

Sunday, June 10, 2018

2015 Galante Vineyards Olive Hill Petite Sirah

2015 Galante Vineyards Olive Hill Petite Sirah

No, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you.  This 2015 Petite Sirah from Galante Vineyards is presented in a shorter bottle outside of a traditional bottle (but it's still 750ml).  Clever marketing and it confirms that good things are indeed found in small packages.  Jack and Dawn Galante really have wonderful wines and this 2015 PS is no exception.  Medium to dark purple with flowery fragrances of rose petal and dusty spring flowers combine with blackberries that are so ripe I picture them being as dark as night.  The flavors are well defined and don't mess around.   Cherry, blackberry, vanilla and peppery braised brisket are distinct and welcoming.  Sweeter on the exit and very memorable with a lingering finish.  This is my type of Petite Sirah.  Just over 250 cases made, so get it quickly!

2015 Galante Vineyards Olive Hill Petite Sirah label

ABV:  14.1%

Carmel Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $50.00

Drink The Bottles score:  91/100

Monday, June 4, 2018

2015 Jon Nathaniel Bodacious

2015 Jon Nathaniel Bodacious

This wine makes me super happy.  I'll be honest, I had to look up the meaning of the word Bodacious to even see if it was a legitimate word.  I found very quickly that Bodacious should not be the name of the wine, but rather the wine review.   Bodacious.   That's all you need.  Holy cow, this wine from Jon Nathaniel Wines is a head turner!  I'll tell you what's in it soon, but what you really need to know is how it tastes and feels.  This wine pops in the mouth with cherry cola, black raspberry jam, chocolate bits, some hints of coffee and what I can only describe as dust from an old book depository at the tail end of the finish.  Weird?  Sure.  But accurate?  You bet.   Aromas of ripe red fruit, funky earthy dampness, cedar, vanilla and mocha are most prevalent.  This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (30%), Syrah (29%), Cabernet Franc (19%), Petit Verdot (11%), Merlot (10%) and Malbec (1%).   Can you cram anything else into the bottle?   Maybe, but why would you?  Deep red to medium purple in the glass and unmistakably memorable, you'll be sad when you tip this bottle for the last time.  Super easy drinking and one that I think you can enjoy right now!  If you love wines with tasty fruit, get it!

2015 Jon Nathaniel Bodacious label

ABV:  14.2%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $60.00

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100





2015 Frog's Leap Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon

2015 Frog's Leap Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon

It had been a spell since I had enjoyed any wine from Frog's Leap Winery, so I was really pumped about the opportunity to taste their latest Cab.   The 2015 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (78%), Merlot (13 %) and Cabernet Franc (9%).  Selfishly, I wish I had a case of this wine and if you want to invest in something that will pay you back ten fold in taste over the next 10-20 years, this wine is for you.  It's super young now, but you can discover some great  mocha, saddle leather, dark plum and medium spice on the nose.  Some might find full bodied flavors that you usually expect from a Cabernet at first, but thing wine is young and the Merlot addition adds structure and balanced flavors of black cherry, gravel, licorice and grilling spices.  I found this finish to be very long with a hint of peppery spice.  I'm loving this wine and I think it will continue to be fine polished if you give it some time.  Eat this one with a rare to medium rare ribeye and some hearty, starchy side dishes.   As a side note, I think this is an incredible value for a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.   If you're looking for a fine wine that won't break your budget, this is a very smart choice!

2015 Frog's Leap Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon label

ABV:  13.8%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $55.00

Drink The Bottles score:  93/100



Wednesday, May 23, 2018

2015 J Bookwalter Winery Conflict

2015 J Bookwalter Winery Conflict

The J Bookwalter Winery team never ceases to surprise me with their wines, whether with their more "value priced" Readers Merlot or with this savory and heart-warming red blend.  The 2015 Conflict is a product of the Conner-Lee Vineyard consisting of a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (47%), Merlot (45%) and Malbec (8%), making it a powerhouse in color and flavor.  Black fruits with violet and whisps of peppered rare beef swim in the glass.  This wine is immediately mouth-watering and has a welcome brightness that is married by the vibrant red colors throughout.  The black fruits carry over in the flavors and I think a hint of cardamom is carried by the spicy, slightly woody finish that to me, is as beautiful as the legs in the wine glass.  This is such an easy drinking wine and one that I would avoid with food.  It would pair well with a number of beef dishes, but I enjoy this wine so much that I want to remember it just as it is.  I think you'll get enjoyment out of this for 15 years easily.

J Bookwalter Winery logo


ABV:  14.9%

Columbia Valley, Washington

Suggested retail price:  $60.00

Drink The Bottles score:  97/100


Monday, May 21, 2018

2015 Krupp Brothers The Water Witch

2015 Krupp Brothers The Water Witch
I have long been a fan of Krupp Brothers wines and absolutely love the story of the determination and passion behind how this winery became to be today.  Some of the best terroir in the area was there, but getting to it by removing a nearly infinite amount of rock and having little to no water were two huge obstacles.  This wine pays homage to the dowser that found water for Krupp Brothers and helped turn it into.......wine!  This 2015 Water Witch is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (38%), Malbec (24%) Petit Verdot (10%), Cabernet Franc (10%), Tempranillo (9%), Syrah (6%) and Merlot (3%).  This blend is a home run with a medium to dark ruby red color and long legs that run parallel to the glass stem. Aromas of cherry turnover, clove, cigar box and floral bouquet dance in the glass and sing loudly with some vigorous swirling.  This wine is very young but you know that it will continue to gain weight in the bottle over the next 10+ years.  Velvety in the mouth with a finish that seems to linger for minutes, the cherry leads the way with semi-sweet chocolate, cigar smoke and dried earthy spices falling in suit and helping create a memorable and delicious treat.  With just over 500 cases made, this wine is an exceptional value and would be a great accompaniment to smoked brisket if you're wanting to show off your taste of great wine to friends.
Krupp Brothers Winery logo
ABV:  14.8%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $70.00

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100


2015 Betz Family Winery Heart of the Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

2015 Betz Family Winery Heart of the Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

I do not drink many French wines for one reason or another, so when I tasted this 2015 Betz Family Winery Heart of the Hill Cabernet Sauvignon I was incredibly pleased and surprised by what I found.  I did absolutely no research on this wine before decanting and tasting it, and this wine immediately moved me to a quaint cafe, sipping this gem with good friends along the Champs Elysees under a mid day sun.  This medium to dark purple wine has very balanced aromas of blackberry pie, campfire smoke, seeping tea and cocoa powder, and none of these are overpowering.  This wine is an eyebrow raiser for sure and the flavors of blackcurrant, blueberry, smoke, dark chocolate-covered coffee beans and hints of grilling spices all combine for a velvety, savory broth-like feel that fills the mouth and lingers for many moments.  This wine was such a lovely surprise to taste and could end up as a "perfect" wine with a few more years under its belt in the cellar.  You'd never know that this is tipping close to an alcohol content of 15%.  It is made so beautifully and really puts a smile on your face. Simply incredible!  

2015 Betz Family Winery Heart of the Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Label

ABV:  14.7%

Red Mountain, Washington

Suggested retail price:  $110.00

Drink The Bottles score:  96/100


Sunday, April 29, 2018

2015 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2015 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2015 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine that can be enjoyed immediately and often with its incredibly soft tannins and welcoming mouth feel.  Smooth and supple, this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (87%), Merlot (6%), Cabernet Franc (5%) and Petite Verdot (2%) offers a solid medium purple color and slender legs in the glass.  The aromas of rapsberry, cedar and licorice aren't necessarily the stars here, but rather the supporting cast to a wine that offers the same in the mouth and adds red licorice, roasted coffee beans and soft spices to the mix.  Even with the four blended grapes, I had anticipated a much younger feeling and more acidic wine that would be bright and benefit from a few more years in the bottle.  That was certainly not the case here!  This wine is completely approachable and one that I think you will enjoy with a pot roast dinner if you're looking for a food pairing.  But, it can certainly stand on it's own merit.

2015 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Label

ABV:  14.3%

Knights Valley, Sonoma, California

Suggested retail price:  $36.00

Drink The Bottles score:  91/100

Sunday, April 15, 2018

2015 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2015 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

The best part of being a wine blogger is the discovery of all types of wines from all over the world.  Many of these wines are from small, boutique wineries and many are mass-produced, with appeal to everyone who loves wine.  The best part of the 2015 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is that it is such a special wine that anyone can purchase, share and enjoy.  This is an incredible wine from a Napa Valley icon.  I had the pleasure of tasting Cathy's wine back in 2011 or 2012 and fell instantly in love.  And again, several years later, this wine and I connected and the romance blossomed once more.  Not yet released (coming soon), I was honored to sample this medium-to-dark red wine with aromas of black raspberry, rose petal, cigar wrapper, vanilla and plum.  Swirling this young wine really opens up the flavor profile and layers of plum, blackberry pipe smoke, spice cake and dark chocolate shavings are incredibly blended and memorable.  If there is one thing you can guarantee from Cathy Corison, it is consistency and unparalleled quality in Napa Valley Cabernet.  While many wines are commonly enjoyed with great foods, I prefer to enjoy this one independent of any food to completely appreciate and enjoy the complexity and flavor that is in the craft!  The 2015 Napa Valley vintage was all over the board, but as expected, Corison comes out on top again. Cheers!

2015 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Label

ABV:  13.6%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $100.00

Drink The Bottles score:  95/100



Wednesday, April 11, 2018

2015 Beringer Napa Valley Chardonnay

2015 Beringer Napa Valley Chardonnay


When one thinks of white wine in the Napa Valley, Chardonnay is the immediate varietal that pops into mind and almost always the star of the show.  What I love about Chardonnay, is like Cabernet, you can taste 10 of them glass-to-glass and have 10 very distinct flavor profiles and tasting experiences.  The 2015 Beringer Napa Valley Chardonnay displays a bright lemon peel color in the glass, aromas of pineapple, Caribbean fruits and buttery biscuit.  On the tongue is a really nice, brighter feeling that makes this wine a good companion with many types of food.  I would imagine this with a hot buffalo chicken dip, jalapeno poppers or a spicy Thai dish.  The flavors of nectarine, brown sugar and creamy bread pudding are well blended and lead to a bright and airy finish.

2015 Beringer Napa Valley Chardonnay Label

ABV:  14.1%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $24.00

Drink The Bottles score:  87/100

Saturday, April 7, 2018

2015 Avalon Red Blend

2015 Avalon Red Blend

Did you know that most wine consumers spend less that $12 on average for a bottle and that over 90% of the wine is consumed on the day that it is purchased?  In other words, most people are buying wine at the grocery store or wine store, taking it home and enjoying it.  And with a name like Drink The Bottles I can't argue with that logic.  But often, people will look at those same low priced bottles and not look past the end of their nose if they are looking for a quality, delicious wine.  And that would be a HUGE mistake by passing this one up.  The 2015 Avalon Winery BLEND is a red wine that includes some of my favorite varietals, which is probably why I am so drawn to it.  It is a beautiful plum skinned color in the glass with strong and welcoming aromas of fresh blackberries, barn wood and hints of licorice.  Made up of Zinfandel (54%), Cabernet Sauvignon (21%), Tannat (20%) and Petite Sirah (5%), the flavors include very juicy blueberries and blackberries, toast and mildly peppered tar.  This wine is bolder than most would expect (including present company).  It doesn't linger but finishes solidly and I'm going to certify this an FGW - Flippin' Good Wine!

2015 Avalon Red Blend Label

ABV:  13.5%

California

Suggested retail price:  $11.99

Drink The Bottles score:  89/100

Thursday, April 5, 2018

2015 Bookwalter Winery Suspense Cabernet Franc

2015 Bookwalter Winery Suspense Cabernet Franc

I've always kind of joked to myself that Cabernet Franc is the smaller, weaker cousin of Cabernet Sauvignon.  Maybe the middle child who didn't get enough attention?  I've just seldom had a truly grand experience with Cab Franc, but as the Monkees would say.....now "I'm a believer".  The 2015 Suspense Cabernet Franc from Bookwalter Winery will change the way you think about this wine.  While it's not 100% Cab Franc, the 17% Merlot blend is smart and adds some depth and complexity to this Columbia Valley wine.  After the gorgeous deep garnet color, the nose presents lively cherry aromas with earthly sage and whiffs of pomegranate.  Where this wine really, really got me was the surprise on the palate.   There was an unconventional and incredibly welcoming spice that joined the Cremè de cassis, cherry, raspberry and smooth-as-glass finish that leads to a very memorable tasting experience.  This is a healthy wine that is going to age amazingly and would be fun to taste every year for the next ten years and compare notes.  While this wine is a fun solo sipper, it would be well represented with a grilled ham steak, Polish sausage or a number of non-traditional meats.

2015 Bookwalter Winery Suspense Cabernet Franc Label

ABV:  14.8%

Columbia Valley, Washington

Suggested retail price:  $60.00

Drink The Bottles score:  93/100


Sunday, March 25, 2018

2015 Readers Merlot

2015 Readers Merlot

I'll admit that I've never been to Columbia Valley, Washington, but it seems that I need to make a trip sometime.  The wines that are coming out of this region are really putting a smile on my face these days, and the 2015 Readers Merlot from Bookwalter Winery is no exception.  What's the first thing wine snobs will look at when they see this bottle?  The screw top.  While I love the resounding "pop" of a cork, I also learned all too long ago that screw tops technically are the best best for most wines: no tainted corks, renewable resource in recyclable caps, etc.  Ok, I just realized I haven't talked about the wine at all and clearly it is the star of this show!  This is a blend of Merlot (90%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (10%) and it presents itself very stoically in the glass.  Aromas of black cherry, hints of blueberry and chocolate and it you're a super-swirler like I am, you might even pick up some green earth and cherry tobacco.  Incredibly soft tannins welcome the mouth and flavors of black cherry pie filling, chocolate chips, and cedar.  Don't let the alcohol content (pushing 15%) scare you; this is not hot at all.  This drinks incredibly well and would be a bison burger's best friend!

2015 Readers Merlot Label

ABV:  14.9%

Columbia Valley, Washington

Suggested retail price:  $28.00

Drink The Bottles Score:  90/100

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

2015 Truchard Vineyards Pinot Noir

2015 Truchard Vineyards Pinot Noir

Muted earth, rhubarb, tea leaves are joined with incredible ripe black cherry aromas that welcome you to this 2015 Truchard Vineyards Pinot Noir.  I found the color of this wine stunning and deeper than a majority of the Pinot Noir currently available.  It's sexy and the wine is very fine with a balanced acidity that doesn't necessarily give complexity, but it does make for a memorable finish.  Flavors of strawberry jam, cranberry, spices and plum are dominant and delicious.  This Pinot has about the perfect amount of sweetness for me and I'd call this one "elegant".

2015 Truchard Vineyards Pinot Noir Label

ABV:  14.1%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $35.00

Drink The Bottles score:  89/100


2015 J Bookwalter Protagonist Cabernet Sauvignon

2015 J Bookwalter Protagonist Cabernet Sauvignon

I am so stoked about this wine I almost don't know where to begin!  Bookwalter Winery has created an amazing wine in the 2015 Protagonist Cabernet Sauvginon.  While not the most fragrant wine you'll ever experience, the flavors are the superstars here!  Dark cherry, graphite and a touch of sulfur smoke greet you warmly and are a stark contrast of the flavors leap from the glass.  This wine feels nice and tight and flavors of black berry, mineral and black currant dance around and introduce a finish that is welcoming and absolutely fulfilling. Smartly balanced blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (95%), Merlot (5%), Syrah (3%) and Cabernet Franc (2%), this wine has a beautiful medium-to-dark purple color and it is delicious now; I suspect will be just as wonderful in another 10+ years.  Beautiful!

2015 J Bookwalter Protagonist Cabernet Sauvignon Label

ABV:  14.9%

Columbia Valley, Washington

Suggested retail price:  $60.00

Drink The Bottles score:  94/100

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

2015 Hedges Family Estate CMS Red Wine Blend

2015 Hedges Family Estate CMS Red Wine Blend

There are a few wine phrases I've said dozens (hundreds?) of times over the years.  One of these phrases would be, "Good wine doesn't have to be expensive".  And that proves to be true with this 2015 Hedges Family Estate CMS Red Wine Blend.  Made up of a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (27%), Merlot (65%) and Syrah (8%), this wine has a very dark red color with purple center and a very nice layer of aromas like black raspberry, chocolate, dried cooking spices and a hint of pipe tobacco smoke.  This wine is much brighter than anticipated and fills the mouth with ripe berries and plum flavors, blended very evenly.  The chocolate and smokiness is realized on the back side of this tasting and the wine bids adieu with a memorable and strong finish.

2015 Hedges Family Estate CMS Red Wine Blend Label

ABV:  13.5%

Columbia Valley, Washington

Suggested retail price:  $14.00

Drink The Bottles score:  87/100