Showing posts with label 2016. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2016. Show all posts

Monday, March 25, 2019

2016 Boeschen Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

2016 Boeschen Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

I have never sat in a French bistro overlooking the Champs Elysees while enjoying the finest cuisine.  I have never read a first print of The Call of the Wild while sitting amongst the finest literary classics a prestigious library.   But those are two feelings that I get when tasting the 2016 Boeschen Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.  This wine is an extraordinary example of winemaking with passion, care and diligence.  Many Napa Valley Cabernet examples are very fruit forward, but this one is more reserved, a big and powerful statement that is held back by the door of opportunity in a wine that can be enjoyed now or for the next 20+ years.  Dark purple, almost inky, this wine has a balance of dark cherry, tobacco leaf, cassis, and antique spice cabinet with satin-like tannin.  This wine was tasted at room temperature multiple times (hence, the wine streaks on the label!) with and without food and was a true champion every time.  I would recommend this with braised short ribs or venison.  Absolutely wonderful!

2016 Boeschen Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon label

ABV:  14.6%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $110.00

Drink The Bottles score:  96/100


Monday, March 18, 2019

2016 Priest Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon

2016 Priest Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon

Every once in awhile you taste a wine, taste it again, and then have to scratch your head at the price tag.  Could a wine this wonderful, a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, really be just $50 retail?  Am I seeing that correctly?  The 2016 Priest Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon is an unfiltered beauty that really pushed be back in my chair!  Absolutely mouth-coating and full of delicious dark fruits, dark chocolate, whisps of dried spices and incredibly satisfying tannins that dance on the palate from beginning to end.  I'll be honest with you.   I spent minutes just swirling and smelling this wine, both at the beginning and throughout the tasting experience.  It's that good.  And remember, you could go to a restaurant and spend $12 - $16 for a glass of wine from a $20 bottle that is mediocre or you go visit the Priest Ranch Winery web site and purchase a few bottles of this Cabernet, knowing that you are getting more than your money's worth!  Highly recommended.

2016 Priest Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon label

ABV:  14.8%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $50.00

Drink The Bottles score:  94/100


Monday, March 4, 2019

2016 Coquerel Cabernet Franc Bennett's Vineyard

2016 Coquerel Cabernet Franc Bennett's Vineyard

Admittedly, I am not a huge Cabernet Franc fan because historically most of it has left me wanting more, often wondering if all Cab Franc was lackluster or if I had just been unlucky.  After today, I am putting all of that behind me and all Cabernet Franc will be judged against this 2016 Coquerel Bennett's Vineyard Cabernet Franc.  Yes, you read that right.   This wine spoils you because it is a 100% varietal and made from a single vineyard - and it shows!   Incredible dark maroon color with lifting aromatics of very ripe blackberries, cassis, hints of barn wood and cherry show the same on the palate with very juicy tannins and a finish that is surely a fist clencher.   I know it was for me.  This wine would pair well with braised short ribs but if you truly love Cabernet Franc, I would recommend this wine with a good book or a lazy Sunday on the sofa.   It's truly a work of art and at only 96 cases you should grab this quickly!


2016 Coquerel Cabernet Franc Bennett's Vineyard label

ABV:  14.8%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  SOLD OUT

Drink The Bottles score:  96/100


Thursday, July 5, 2018

2016 Ste Chapelle Special Harvest Riesling

2016 Ste Chapelle Special Harvest Riesling

Full disclosure:  I have absolutely no experience with Idahoan wines.  Well, that's not true.  The first one I tried a few weeks ago was corked, but that happens to wines from any region so it's a loss and shouldn't be symbolic of the wines in general.   Now that we have that out of the way, let's discuss this 2016 Ste Chapelle Special Harvest Riesling from the Snake River Valley AVA of Idaho.  I actually leaped at the chance to taste these wines because I love discovering AVA's and producers that I'm not familiar with.   If this 100% Riesling is indicative of what this region can produce, they've got a real winning combination with grapes and terroir.  

If you love sweet white wines then this is your jam!  If sweet wines turn you off, find something else to drink.  I started out with this well-chilled and the honeysuckle, pear, peach and wildflower aromas were really prevalent.  As I've said dozens of times, I taste nearly all of my wines around room temperature to get a true picture of the flavor profile, but chilling this wine seemed appropriate, and it was indeed!  When you put this in the back of the throat, it is literally mouth-watering and overall, this wine is very welcoming with mellow flavors of apricot, and hints of powdered graphite and candied lemon rind.   This wine wants you needing another sip and I think it is a very agreeable with salty ham and cheese pinwheels, New York style cheesecake or even spicy Thai food.  If you're unfamiliar with wines from Idaho, I highly recommend you give this one a try.

2016 Ste Chapelle Special Harvest Riesling label

ABV:  12.0%

Snake River Valley, Idaho

Suggested retail price:  $11.99

Drink The Bottles score:  89/100

Monday, July 2, 2018

2016 Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Sangiovese Sonoma Coast

2016 Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Sangiovese Sonoma Coast

I am really digging this 2016 Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Sangiovese and think it is drinking very well right now.  This is definitely a great Chicken Parmesan pairing now or you could hold it for 5 years to enjoy more depth and less brightness.  This wine is slightly peppery with berries and a bit of funky, wet earth on the nose.  In the mouth, this light-to-medium wine shows off some gorgeous dried cherry bits, hints of candied apples and vanilla.   There's a suggestion of cedar box towards the end and I think it would be great to taste this vintage again in 3 years to see where that goes.  This is a very flavorful wine and one that I think is best enjoyed with the aforementioned meal.  Great value!

2016 Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Sangiovese Sonoma Coast label

ABV:  15.0%

Sonoma Coast, California

Suggested retail price:  $25.00

Drink The Bottles score:  89/100


Sunday, July 1, 2018

2016 Frank Family Vineyards Carneros Chardonnay

2016 Frank Family Vineyards Carneros Chardonnay

This post is a couple of weeks overdue, but the timing is right considering the scorching heat that most of the US is experiencing right now.  Many people feel that heavier red wines are cumbersome when the heat index is hovering around triple digits and while I am not one of those people, I think some white wines (slightly chilled) are better suited for the sweltering heat.  With that, I give you the 2016 Frank Family Vineyards Carneros Chardonnay.   This is Chardonnay exactly - e x a c t l y - how I like it to taste.  Whether or not oak is your thing, this 100% varietal has just enough that isn't overpowering, but it definitely helps bring the flavors together.  This wine has a really welcoming light gold color with lemon candy and warm buttered bread dominant on the nose.  Extremely creamy on the palate (again, just how I love it), lemon cake, baked cinnamon apple and baking spices combine beautifully and create a finish that clean and extremely satisfying.  This is definitely the best Chardonnay I have tasted in recent memory and it takes me back to our first California trip 9 years ago.  Frank Family Vineyards has really knocked this wine out of the park and as a side note, they have some of the most beautiful wine labels, which really adds to the conversation.  With 25,000 cases produced there is enough for everyone, so add this to your tasting line up.

2016 Frank Family Vineyards Carneros Chardonnay label

ABV:  14.4%

Carneros, Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $38.00

Drink The Bottles score:  95/100


Thursday, May 24, 2018

2016 Dawn's Dream Winery Bel Sogno Pinot Noir

2106 Dawn's Dream Winery Bel Sogno Pinot Noir

So, here's the deal.  I've been lucky enough to taste several Pinot Noir from Dawn Galante's amazing team at Dawn's Dream Winery and each one is unique and pretty special.  Some are more fruit forward, some smoky, but this 2016 Bel Sogno Pinot Noir takes its own beaten path and stands out from the rest.  Wonderful dark purple in the glass with aromas of muted currant, black cherry, rose petal and vanilla cream.  This wine isn't a high acidic bomb and has a more mellow characteristic in the mouth, creating a finish that is welcoming and leaves you yearning for more.  The flavors are muted at first, but mid palate the sour cherry, black raspberry and red currant jelly blend for a tasting experience that really is satisfying.  When Pinot Noir is made this well, I prefer to sip it with good company, sans food.  I do think that a lighter, brothy soup would be a good pairing as would a braised duck breast or just good 'ol fried mushrooms!  Lovely bottle.

2016 Dawn's Dream Winery Bel Sogno Pinot Noir Label

ABV:  14.1%

Santa Lucia Highlands, California

Suggested retail price:  $70.00

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

2016 JACK Reserve Sauvignon Blanc

2016 Jack Winery Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
I had the pleasure of tasting this 2016 JACK  Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, but I missed the mark by not enjoying it over a major league baseball game.  (Check out their story to see what this means!).  What first catches the eye on this specimen is the beautiful golden color and the logo that ties into the story of the founders.  This bottle is as handsome as Vernon and Chris are and popping the cork permeates the air with wafting aromas that suggest something special is about to happen to you.  I love California Sauvignon Blanc because it doesn't express overly grassy aromas like its New Zealand counterparts and it spotlights more fruity and floral aromas, which is the case here.  Honeysuckle and spring bouquet are dominant and inviting.  In the mouth is a silky example of a wine that has been well refined and initially has me dreaming of pineapple whip ice cream. This wine has bits of honeycomb and loads of baking spices along with a crisp green apple finish that is long and does not overpower the pineapple and spice.  I taste nearly all wines at room temperature so the flavors aren't muted, but I suspect this wine would be enjoyed best slightly chilled with a couscous salad or accoutrement of cheeses and herbaceous breads.  This is such a wonderful wine and I think it will drink amazingly for 3-5 years without hesitation!

ABV:  14.1%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $35.00

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100

Jack Winery


Saturday, May 12, 2018

2016 Mollydooker Carnival of Love Shiraz

2016 Mollydooker Carnival of Love Shiraz

I fell head over heels for Mollydooker wines about seven years ago.  It was an accidental tasting on my previous wine blog, Midwest Wine Guy, that allowed me to taste a bottle from everything they produced, and I was like a kid in a candy store.  Fast forward to the 2016 Carnival of Love and once again, I am completely enamored by the quality, value and overall loveliness of Mollydooker wines.  Gorgeous dark purple colors with plum, vanilla, country gravel road and raspberries that you just picked and squished in your hands are the wonderful, wafting aromas that leap out of the glass.  The balance on this wine is incredible and despite a 16% alcohol content, this wine does not come across as hot or with any type of medicinal feel.  This is truly skilled wine making at its best.  The mouthfeel is full, warm and inviting.  Flavors of raspberry cream, vanilla custard, earthly herbs and grilling spices blend beautifully and leave you wanting more....and more!  You cannot and will not go wrong with this Shiraz.   And yes, I did the Mollydooker shake!

2016 Mollydooker Carnival of Love Shiraz Label

ABV:  16.0%

McLaren Vale, Australia

Suggested retail price:  $75.00

Drink The Bottles score:  94/100


Sunday, April 29, 2018

2016 1000 Stories Zinfandel

2016 1000 Stories Zinfandel

When we think of red wine, we commonly think French or American oak barrel aging.  We wouldn't normally think bourbon barrel aging in present day when the aforementioned are so prevalent and readily available, certainly more than they were 50 years ago.  But aging Zinfandel in new and used bourbon barrels in small batches is exactly what 1000 Stories Wines is doing.  The use of used barrels is smart because the barrels provide a mellowness that makes this wine ripe for immediate drinking and the barrels also add some character to the wine.  Not overly complex but beautiful in a medium red color, this California Zinfandel exhibits primarily bright cherry aromas with spicebox and vanilla.  In the mouth is a softer Zinfandel with flavors of cherry, strawberry hard candy, carmel and hints of vanilla syrup.  This is a fun and very drinkable wine that I personally wouldn't pair with a food due to it's softness and sweet flavor.  It packs an alcohol content that is nearly 16% but it is so mellow that it isn't a distraction.  Pick up a bottle and enjoy it for yourself!

2016 1000 Stories Zinfandel Label

ABV:  15.5%

California

Suggested retail price:  $18.99

Drink The Bottles score:  86/100


Sunday, April 15, 2018

2016 Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Amador County Barbera

2016 Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Amador County Barbera

Barbera, in my opinion, lacks popularity in the US compared to many other red wines, and that is a shame.  This Italian grape produces a memorable and flavorful wine that is incredibly inviting and easy to drink.  The 2016 Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Barbera from Amador County is a fine example of this dark purple, crisp wine.  Black cherry and steel on the nose, this lovely wine exhibits flavors of sour cherry, black cherry, floral bouquet and juicy young raspberries.  This wine would be an excellent companion with braised spare ribs and stuffed mushroom caps.  Very mouth watering wine!

2016 Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Amador County Barbera Label

ABV:  14.0%

Amador County, California

Suggested retail price:  $28.00

Drink The Bottles score:  90/100


Saturday, April 14, 2018

2016 Chateau St Jean Creamy California Chardonnay

2016 Chateau St Jean Creamy California Chardonnay

Bright golden yellow in the glass, this 2016 Chateau St Jean Creamy California Chardonnay is a solid pairing for spicy Spanish foods.  A complete steal at under $15, this wine displays notes of baked apple pie, lemon and mineral.  In the mouth is a medium bodied and luscious creamy combination of creamy lemon cheesecake, stone fruits, dry mineral and hints of cedar.  Straight forward with a finish that is silky and sweet, this Chardonnay could be a daily drinker and I've seen it closer to the $10 price tag online, so you're going to really win with this one!

2016 Chateau St Jean Creamy California Chardonnay Label

ABV:  14.5%

California

Suggested retail price:  $12.99

Drink The Bottles score:  87/100


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

2016 Farmhouse Red

2016 Farm House Red

So, I was super excited to get this bottle of wine, which is produced by Cline Cellars of California.  Why?  Because to me this wine represents much more than what is inside.  This bottle represents to me heritage, education, appreciation and love for farming and the earth.  I guess I feel, in some way, that I have a "six degrees" connection with this bottle and what it stands for because farming has run in my family for generations.  Be good stewards of the earth and ye shall be rewarded.  

The 2016 Farmhouse Red wine has some real energy.  As I was pouring this wine, the raspberry, smoky, scorched earth actually leaped from the glass.   Swirling only accentuated the same and completely filled the nose and throat with delicious, full, warm aromas.  In the mouth is a wine that makes a presence with the blackberry pie, toasted dark bread and sweet cherries that combine with a peppery and luscious finish that doesn't necessary linger, but is memorable and delicious.  If fruit-forward wines are your jam, than this wine is calling your name.  This wine would be a great cheese wine or pair well with meat that has been on the smoker all day.  This is a blend of Merlot (39%), Syrah (21%), Zinfandel (20%), Grenache (9%), Petite Sirah (7%) and Mourvedre (3%).  Solid!

2016 Farm House Red Label

ABV:  14.0%

California

Suggested retail price:  $15.00

Drink The Bottles score:  89/100

Monday, April 9, 2018

2016 Dawn's Dream Winery Rachael Pinot Noir

2016 Dawn's Dream Winery Rachael Pinot Noir

You'll really become infatuated with the color and aromas of this 2016 Dawn's Dream Winery "Rachael" Pinot Noir.  Smoky cedar and baked cranberries on the nose, the smokiness flows right across the lips and is joined by vanilla, cardamom, dark cherries and flaky pie crust.  I could swirl this beautiful wine for hours, becoming mesmerized by the medium purple body with dark rim and gorgeous legs  For me, this Pinot Noir is a solo drinker and each taste is more enjoyable than the previous one.  I think it would pair very well with a very ripe fruit cobbler.  Wonderfully made!

2016 Dawn's Dream Winery Rachael Pinot Noir Label

ABV:  13.5%

Santa Lucia Highlands, California

Suggested retail price:  $40.00

Drink The Bottles score:  89/100

Saturday, April 7, 2018

2016 Truchard Vineyards Chardonnay

2016 Truchard Vineyards Chardonnay

While one of the most popular white wines in the world, I feel like Chardonnay has become a little more forgotten with the popularity of Moscato and Riesling continually on the rise in most areas.  Why is that?  Because, frankly a lot of Chardonnay is very similar in taste and presentation.  There typically isn't a lot going on that makes you get excited.  But the 2016 Truchard Vineyards Chardonnay is a real head turner and one that will re-kindle your love for this varietal.  This Chardonnay, while spending time in oak, is nice and bright in the nose and in the mouth.  Pear, pineapple and toasted brioche are what I picked up on primarily in the glass.  In the mouth were some lovely flavors of lemon pie, baking spices, fresh cut apple and a finish that was clean and refreshing with a mineral presence.  The wine is absolutely delightful and a change from many heavy Chardonnay that are on the market.  Don't get me wrong.  I love a heavily oaked Chardonnay as much as the next person, but as we head into Spring and you're looking for something to share with friends over a wedge salad or pasta salad on the deck, this would be your choice and I would serve is moderately chilled.  You can't go wrong here!

2016 Truchard Vineyards Chardonnay Label

ABV:  14.1%

Carneros, Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $30.00

Drink The Bottles score:  91/100



Sunday, March 25, 2018

2016 Dawn's Dream Winery Pinot Noir Rosè

2016 Dawn's Dream Winery Pinot Noir Rosè

Most of the time people see pink wines, they probably think White Zinfandel.  And then come back flooding memories of a $9 gallon jug of brash, highly acidic and flavorless wine that you can barely choke down, only to wake up with heartburn for days.  Some much of that $3 bottle junk has turned people off of rosè wines because it's hard to get over the stigma and differentiate between junk and delicious rosè that is made from fine Pinot Noir.  So, have a seat, clear out the bad mojo and open your mind to this exquisite 2016 Dawn's Dream Winery Pinot Noir Rosè from the Santa Lucia Highlands.  Beautiful salmon colored in the glass from center to edge, this light wine presents stewed strawberries, brioche, watermelon and summer rain.  It's bright on the tongue and best served moderately chilled with very mild cranberry, strawberry and fresh bread dough in the mouth.  A cup of lobster bisque would be a great marriage, but so would a fresh vegetable platter, shrimp tempura or a number of lighter dishes.  This is absolutely stunning and one of those unfortunate times in which it is too bad you can't be here tasting this with me.  I can't say enough good things about this bottle!

2016 Dawn's Dream Winery Pinot Noir Rosè Label

ABV:  14.0%

Santa Lucia Highlands, California

Suggested retail price:  $35.00

Drink The Bottles score:  94/100

Saturday, March 24, 2018

2016 Dawn's Dream Chardonnay Escolle Vineyard

2016 Dawn's Dream Chardonnay Escolle Vineyard

The 2016 Dawn's Dream Winery Chardonnay (Escolle Vineyard) is a flavorful, welcoming and refreshing Chardonnay with layers of flavors.  Medium golden in color, this wine presents nose-filling fruitful aromas of juicy pineapple, vanilla, lemon, spring flowers and........ a faintness of orange peel?  It seems like this wine changes every minute and I find it extremely intriguing and satisfying.  In the mouth it's a collaboration of flavors that include citrus flavors, lemon zest, light green grasses and brown sugar.  For such a young wine, it is drinking spot on and I (of course) sampled this around room temperature.  It's not overly oaked and not heavy at all.  I'd suggest some pasta with light cream sauce (fettuccine maybe?) or a roasted chicken dish with fresh garden vegetables as a well-paired duo.

2016 Dawn's Dream Chardonnay Escolle Vineyard Label

ABV:  14.0%

Santa Lucia Highlands, California

Suggested retail price:  $30.00

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100

2016 Galante Vineyards Wagon Wheel Sauvignon Blanc

2016 Galante Vineyards Wagon Wheel Sauvignon Blanc

Such incredible concentrated aromas of peach, pineapple and lemon zest, this 2016 Galante Vineyards Wagon Wheel Sauvignon Blanc is definitely now in my all-time favorite top 10 for this varietal.  A lot of Sauvignon Blanc give an almost pungent, overly strong grassy overtone on the nose, but not this one.  It is well refined, not overly acidic and is bursting with flavors of peach, slate, pineapple and lemon candies.  The wine is refreshing, bright and extremely memorable.  The back of the throat really opens up for this wine.  My biggest regret is not having a plate of soft cheeses or some bruschetta to sit back with, watch the snow fall and finish this beautiful bottle of wine.  You better hurry with this one, as the production was only 380 cases.  If you're looking for something different and delicious that will drink well over the next 3 years easily, this is it.  Thank me later.

2016 Galante Vineyards Wagon Wheel Sauvignon Blanc Label

ABV:  13.5%

Carmel Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $35.00

Drink The Bottles score:  94/100




2016 Hedges Family Estate HIP Cabernet Sauvignon

2016 Hedges Family Estate HIP Cabernet Sauvignon

Incredibly dark, nearly black in the glass with blended aromas of dark fruits, licorice and tobacco leaf with hints of damp earth.  This 2016 Hedges Family Estate HIP Cabernet Sauvignon is medium bodied and very easy to drink with flavors of dark fruits, dark chocolate, flakes of fine pepper and cinnamon.  This wine finishes brightly and has velvety tannins that gives a welcoming and smooth feel in the mouth.  I like this wine.  The dark colors and peppery notes hint that this is a Cabernet blend, and for this price it certainly is a bargain!

2016 Hedges Family Estate HIP Cabernet Sauvignon Label

ABV:  13.5%

Columbia Valley, Washington

Suggested retail price:  $17.00

Drink The Bottles score:  89/100


2016 Avalon Chardonnay

2016 Avalon Chardonnay

If I was able to take a thermos of lunch to work in the summer, I'd probably fill it with this 2016 Avalon Winery California Chardonnay.  Why?  Well, first of all because drinking wine at work would be fun, but mostly because this is a very easy drinking wine that represents most budget-minded California Chardonnay in a positive light.  Apple and pear on the nose, light golden color with pear and smoky cheese on the palate, and a quick finish.  This is the kind of wine that you should always have around and slightly chilled for those impromptu summer hangout with friends.  If the first glass doesn't completely make you a fan, the second one will.  Very versatile foodie wine.  I think you could even serve this with a ham and cheese sandwich (hence, the take it to work with you wine) and be completely happy!

2016 Avalon Chardonnay Label

ABV:  13.5%

Central Coast, California

Suggested retail price:   $11.99   


Drink The Bottles score:  85/100