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Showing posts with the label 2018

2019 The Shepherd Sauvignon Blanc

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  Hot days are made for cooler wines and Sauvignon Blanc almost always fits the bill.  But when you have a Sauvignon Blanc like this one that is so pure, straightforward and extremely easy to enjoy, you know you have hit the jackpot.  Don't mistake this as simple, because it isn't.  It is just very well made and exactly how we enjoy SB.   Shepherd Wines , aka Truchard Vineyards, presents a fine California example of this wildly popular grape.  Aromas of cooked pear, grapefruit and crisp linen resonate throughout the glass and intensify as the wine begins to warm.  Delicious and crisp citrus flavors lead to a zippy and memorable medium acidic finish.  Absolutely and easily a daily drinker! ABV:  13.9% Napa Valley, CA (Carneros Region) Suggested retail price:  $18.00 Drink The Bottles  score:  90/100

2018 Hamel Family Wines Isthmus

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We were recently introduced to Hamel Family Wines and their 2018 Isthmus red blend.  This wine is comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon (64%), Merlot (18%), Cabernet Franc (14%) and Petit Verdot (4%).  This wine is very rich up front with dominant blackberry, plum and pomegranate fruits.  Clove, grilling spices, river rock and ripe dark fruits blend to create a stunning and memorable wine that is approachable now and will also drink very well for the next 15+ years.  Wonderful texture with the medium to heavier mouthfeel.  We decanted this wine for about 90 minutes prior to tasting and that helped bring this selection to a compelling and delightful finish.  Ruby red in the glass to the rim.  While we don't often taste wines with food, we do think that this would be a delicious accompaniment to a bone-in ribeye steak. ABV:  14.5% Sonoma Valley, CA 2,698 cases produced Suggested retail price:  $90.00 Drink The Bottles score:  93+/100  

2018 Enkidu Cabernet Sauvignon High Mayacamas

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Rich in texture and flavor with mouth-coating dark fruits, graphite, damp earth and oak.  That's what we discovered in this  2018 Enkidu Cabernet Sauvignon High Mayacamas wine.  Powerful fruit abounds from first sip to last with petite and polished tannin lead to a scrumptious finish.  These grapes come rom Cabernet Sauvignon from three distinct areas - Sonoma County (63%), Napa County (25%) and Lake County (12%) and four separate vineyards.  This wine is very classic Cab but has a lighter feel on the back end.  It's quite remarkable and the price won't offend you at all!  This is our second sample from Enkidu and the quality and consistency has been spot on.  Drink now and for the next 10+ years. ABV:  14.6% Sonoma, CA Suggested retail price:  $45.00 Drink The Bottles  score:  92/100  

2018 Davis Bynum Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

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  The 2018 Davis Bynum Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is an absolutely lovely and fragrant wine.  The color is absolutely stunning and the aromas of fresh strawberry field, tea and oak draw you in immediately.  In the mouth you are quickly greeted by fresh and juicy strawberries, damp earth joined with silky tannin.  This wine could easily be an everyday drinker for the Pinot Noir fanatic.   ABV:  14.5%  Sonoma County, CA Suggested retail price:  $25.00 Drink The Bottles  score:  89/100

2018 Galante Vineyards Olive Hill Petite Sirah

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There's a lot going on with this wine that we love.  We, of course, have to start with the obvious first - the bottle.  No, your eyes are not deceiving you.  Yes, that is a 750mL bottle of wine.  The "petite" or stubby bottle is a nod to the marketing team over at Galante.  In fact, we really like everything they do and if you're a cowboy fan........ you will love it!  So let's talk about the wine.  This is the  2018 Galante Vineyards Olive Hill Petite Sirah .  It is estate bottled and comes from two different vineyards of seriously different elevations.   The color on this wine is absolutely mesmerizing.  It's a deep garnet and reminds us of a crushed velvet that you hung on your wall in the 1970's.  When we opened this bottle, aromas of boysenberry and cedar leapt from the bottle and we had a suspicion that this was going to be something very, very good.  With some air time, other aromas like toasted ciabatta and fresh blacktop joined in on the fun.  Str

2018 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

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If there is one thing that we know and appreciate about Cathy Corison's wines, it is that they are consistently beautiful and unique in style and flavor.  While most winemakers can create a memorable and powerful Cabernet Sauvignon, it is the Cathy's graceful and focused skillset that helps produce this wine in a very classic style.  The 2018 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is deep purple, nearly opaque in the glass. There is patchwork of aromas that begin with currants, cherry, young fresh berries and flower petals.  This wine, with some time in the glass, also introduces bright minerality and fertile earth notes.  Tangy cherry, blueberry and dried herbs on the palate, connecting with dark chocolate bits and silky tannin that place a tender hold on the mouth to a very charming and long finish.  This wine will continue to blossom in the bottle but it drinking exquisitely now and will continue to for 2 or more decades.     ABV:  13.8% Napa Valley, CA Suggested retail pri

2018 Caprio Cellars Eleanor Estate Red Wine

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We have been fans of Washington wines for many years but this was our first introduction to Caprio Cellars.  This winery not only produced solid and memorable wines, but they are also involved in many philanthropic activities as well.  If this  2018 Caprio Cellars Eleanor Estate Red Wine from Dennis Murphy is an indication of how impressive all of their offerings are, then these Walla Walla wines are a definite "must add" to your cellar.  Powerful with the first sip before decanting and medium purple in the glass.  Distinct red berry mixture with cedar plank, plum and red licorice.  This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (59%), Merlot (19%), Malbec (15%) and Cabernet Franc 7%) is a smart blend that helps create some structure throughout the entire glass and beyond.  The flavors mirror the aromas and after decanting for about 90 minutes, the tannin softened considerably and led us to a velvety and balanced finish.  We detected a bit more woodsy notes after the decanting and the win

2018 Truchard Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Carneros Napa Valley

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  We have tasted wines from Truchard Vineyards for several years now and it is always exciting to taste different vintages to see how the compare from year to year.  We last tasted this wine from the 2014 vintage.  The  2018 Truchard Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Carneros Napa Valley is a young wine, but feels more mature due to the older Carneros vines that develop the unique fruit for this example.  The 2018 vintage is comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon (88%), Cabernet Franc (10%), Petit Verdot (1%) and Malbec (1%).  This is a very similar blend to the 2014 vintage but a unique wine on its own.  Dark cherry, plum, violet and spice box aromas are at the forefront with beefsteak tomato appearing as the wine opens up.  The dark purple color is like an old friend, inviting you to sit and stay awhile and it is joined by raspberry, plum, vanilla and allspice to create a transformation that is rewarding and very tasty.  The wine has a softer finish than what we recall from the 2014 vintage but

2018 LOBO Wines Cabernet Sauvignon

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  It's another hit from LOBO Wines!  The  2018 LOBO Wines Cabernet Sauvignon is from their Wulff Vineyards of Napa Valley and for such a young wine this one is really singing.  Medium to dark red in the glass, fruit abounds and aromas of black and red raspberries combine with tobacco leaf, spring rain and vanilla.  We love the flavors of black and red currant, peppercorn, allspice and ripe berries.  This wine is mouth-coating and gifts you with a long and full finish.  You could easily age this wine for a decade or more and with only 280 cases produced, you should grab this one quickly.  Absolutely lovely and incredibly priced for a 100% Napa Valley Cabernet from the Oak Knoll District! ABV:  14.1% Napa Valley, CA Suggested retail price:  $75.00 Drink The Bottles  score:  93/100

2018 Sokol Blosser Dundee Hills Estate Pinot Noir

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  We were first introduced to the wines of Sokol Blosser over a dozen years ago while trying their Evolution white blend with fondue.  Well-made Oregon Pinot Noir is always a treat to taste.  The 2018 Sokol Blosser Dundee Hills Estate Pinot Noir is no exception!  Deep plum skin color with cranberry on the nose and mouth. The cranberry blends with tanned suede, campfire smoke, clove and white pepper to bring this wine to a strong finish with a solid acidic  backbone.   This wine is young and we think will be even more memorable in the next 18 months.  We think this wine would pair very well with beef stew or pheasant.   ABV:  14.0% Dundee Hills, OR Suggested retail price:  $42.00 Drink The Bottles score:  90+/100

2018 Enkidu Wines Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

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  Enkidu Wines of Sonoma, California is a new addition to the Drink The Bottles  wine tribe.  It is no secret that we taste and share a lot of Napa wines and when we partner up with a (new-to-us) producer from Sonoma, we're always excited to see the outcome.  We had the privilege of tasting the 2018 Enkidu Wines Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley) and this was a great introduction for us to this producer.  When we popped the cork and saw the wine imprint, we suspected that we were in for a treat with some high quality, dense fruit. Medium to dark scarlet color solid in the glass from center to edge.  Aromas of fresh out-of-the-oven strawberry rhubarb pie, damp earth and spices carry over to similar flavors.  This is a potpourri of sweet fragrance with intense, medium bodied raspberry jam and hints of vanilla.  The acid in this wine is solid but in check, leading the taster to a path of a lingering finish that goes on for moments.  We didn't decant this wine but rather gave it so

2018 Lagana Cellars Eritage Vineyard Chardonnay

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  Fans of crisp, bright Chardonnay are sure to love the 2018 Lagana Cellars Eritage Vineyard Chardonnay .  This Walla Walla Valley selection isn't heavy and would be a perfect selection for sushi or a lighter baked fish dish.  Pale color yellow in the glass with stone fruits dominating the nose.  Wet river rock also makes an appearance.  In the mouth is a delightful and welcoming combination of more stone fruits, apple tart filling and hard pineapple candy.  This wine combines the right amount of sweetness and acidity, leading to a solid finish.  Best over the next 10 years.  This one is a reliable choice if you're looking for some Chardonnay to keep in your cellar. ABV:  13.4% Walla Walla Valley, WA Suggested retail price:  $22.00 Drink The Bottles score:  89/100

2018 Knights Bridge Estate Chardonnay Knights Valley

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  The 2018 Knights Bridge Estate Chardonnay (Knights Valley) is a welcoming and affordable wine that can be presented as an every day sipper or for a lighter food wine.  While this particular vintage is no longer available from the winery's website, you can still find it readily available at many retailers.  In the glass is a medium golden apple color with crisp aromas of stone fruits, baked bread and vanilla.  In the mouth you easily embrace flavors of pear, vanilla bean, apple tart and lemon curd, leading to a solid and refreshing finish.  This wine is not overly oaked and should be drank in the next 2 years for optimum enjoyment. ABV:  14.5% Sonoma County, CA Suggested retail price:  $39.99 Drink The Bottles score:  88/100

Rodney Strong Wine Estates REJUVENATION Virtual Wine Tasting

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  It was a great day for a wine tasting.  But then again, isn't  any  day perfect to gather for some vino?   Our group of six gathered at our home (aka DrinkTheBottles  HQ) for a virtual wine tasting provided by our friends at Rodney Strong Wine Estates .  This tasting was promoted as a media tasting and we invited our friends to enjoy some new wines.  Whenever we have a virtual tasting we always try to include others.  It would be a shame to "waste" six bottles of wine on two people. The folks at Rodney Strong Wine Estates have been going through a makeover, or a REJUVENATION as they call it, for the last 3 years.  They have touched every part of the business from the estate, the vineyards, the tasting room, the personnel and, as you may notice, the logo/label! The lineup consisted of six unique and flavorful wines.  The winery proves that you don't have to be expensive to enjoy quality wines.   We tasted these wines in order: 2020 Rodney Strong Rose of Pinot Noir, R

2018 Patland Vineyards Select Barrel Reserve Malbec

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  We have recently had the opportunity to taste several Malbec and admittedly, in the past, this has not been our favorite varietal.  Mostly it is because many of the Malbec we have tasted have been "good" but not great.  That certainly isn't the case with the 2018 Patland Vineyards Select Barrel Reserve Malbec .  Before we get into our thoughts, we will make a bold statement that this is probably the best Malbec we have EVER tasted!  Read that again.  It is absolutely stunning on all fronts - visual, aroma and taste!   In the glass is a concentrated, nearly opaque, incredibly dark colored wine.  It's gorgeous.  On the nose are lifted aromas of plum, mocha, chocolate bits, blackberry preserves and spring flowers.  This is one of those wines that fills the soul and while you can't wait to taste it, the aromas just want to make you swirl this glass over and over and really appreciate the goodness.  In the mouth is a gushing collection of dark berries, chocolate bar,

2018 Flora Springs Trilogy

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  We have been fortunate enough to taste this delightful selection over the years both on this blog on our previous one.  This wine always puts a smile on our faces and never disappoints!  The 2018 Flora Springs Trilogy is an exceptional example of marrying three amazing varietals flawlessly, resulting in silkiness, body, incredible flavors and wonderful memories.  I kick myself for not getting a picture of this in the glass.  I guess it's incredibly easy to get excited and become lost in this wine.  I would love to show you the wonderful crimson colors and beautiful, ripe tannins but that will have to wait until next time.  The wine introduces itself with dark red and black fruits, cocoa beans, a wisp of book leather and roasted coffee.  These aromas make the mouth water and make way to ripe blackberries, juicy plum, mocha and dark toast on the palate.  The wine flows effortlessly that would pair well with an delicious prime rib, but we tasted this solo.  For us, it's the bes

2018 Flora Springs Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

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  To me, this wine screams, "I am a perfect daily drinker and something that most everyone can afford."  This wine won't break the bank but it will allow you to experience a classic tasting Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  It's one of those that will be a great gift as well.  The 2018 Flora Springs Winery Cabernet Sauvignon is exactly what I've learn to expect from this producer over the years.  You get a wine with forward, mouth-watering aromas of blackberry, seared oak, baking spices and vanilla.  It's a beautiful burgundy color with tiny tannin and a ton of flavor.  While a young wine, you can really taste the dark fruit, bold coffee bean and vanilla, followed up with hints of juicy, ripe plum.  This wine is a solid pleaser. ABV:  14.2% Napa Valley, CA Suggested retail price:  $50.00 Drink The Bottles score:  90/100

2018 Patland Estate Vineyards Select Barrel Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

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  What really impressed us by this Cabernet Sauvignon is the huge structure, sustainability and tasting profile that went along with this young wine.   The  2018 Patland Estate Vineyards Select Barrel Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is the eleventh year for this limited edition wine and you'll have to jump on this quickly if you want to secure yours.  At only 3,540 bottles, the allocation surely runs out quickly, and for good reason!  Medium to dark garnet color with pomegranate, leather, black cherry and mint on the nose.  In the mouth is a medium-tannin, polished wine with dark red fruits, leather, vanilla and droplets of soy sauce towards the finish.  For such a young wine it drinks effortlessly and is as sexy as it can be for the greatest grape varietal in the world!  If you are lucky enough to acquire this wine, get as many as you can.  Drink one now and age the others for 5, 10, 15, 20 years.  Enjoy! ABV:  14.8% Napa Valley, CA 295 cases produced Suggested retail price:  $200.00

2018 Baldacci Family Vineyards Fraternity

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If you are looking for a wine that pairs with just about anything in your pantry or freezer, you have found it in the 2018 Baldacci Family Vineyards Fraternity blend.   Don't roll your eyes and scoff about red blends....certainly not this  one!  The picture above should really be all that you need to know about how much we enjoyed this wine.   The bottle is empty!  This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (45%), Merlot (36%), Cabernet Franc (10%), Syrah (7%) and Petit Verdot(2%) is exceptionally balanced and a real palate masseuse!  This wine opens with grandma's homemade preserves, dried spices and some incredible hints of earthiness.  It is absolutely full of fruit flavors like juicy bing cherries, ripe plum and multi-berry cobbler, including the taste of spice racks flavors in the crust.  It is always incredible to sip a wine like this, sit back and just laugh at how wonderful it is at this price point.  This wine is young but it drinks like it has been bottled for 10 years.  The co

2018 Calculated Risk Sonoma County Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

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Full disclosure here.   I purchased a few different cases of "close out" wines from an online discounter just to have some cheaper, every day drinking wine.  One of the purchases was this 2018 Calculated Risk Sonoma County Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon .  I bought 4 bottles and for the price (and free shipping), I thought it was worth the..................wait for it...............calculated risk.  (Insert laughter here).  I digress. This wine really didn't disappoint.  Of the wines that I purchased from the discount vendor, this one was one that I preferred over many that were less than spectacular.  There was a very distinct Cabernet nose and medium red color.  Sometimes you can open a cheap Cabernet only to find that you struggle to identify the aromas that typically accompany these grapes.  This was not the case here.  Dried fruit with dark chocolate yielded to dark, ripe cherries and a faint dusty book taste.  The finish wasn't incredibly long but it was pleasant an

Yes, You CAN Find a Good Wine for Under $10

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Have you ever picked up a cheap bottle of wine ($20 or under) and found that it nearly blew your socks off?  No, it wasn't the 18% alcohol or high octane fuel smell coming from the cork....er, make that bottle cap....but an actual LOVE for a bargain bottle of vino?  A couple of months ago while we were all hunkered down during the Coronavirus pandemic, we received a bottle of this 2018 King Rabbit Rosé as a gift.  I'm not normally a rosé wine fan, but I immediately fell in love with the cantaloupe-colored juice and gorgeous package.   While we had planned to save this bottle for Easter dinner, it didn't work out that way and we popped this open on a whim one late afternoon.  This bottle had been in the refrigerator chilling (the best way to drink a rosé in my opinion) so we filled up a couple of glasses and headed to the back deck.   The nose presented with lemon, lime and stone fruits with some flowery undertones.  This wasn't an intense aroma, but pleasing and yes, I