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Showing posts with the label blend

2020 Bells Up Winery Jupiter Pinot Noir

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  Rounding out our tastings of samples from Bells Up Winery is their 2020 Jupiter Pinot Noir.  This comes from an estate vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains.  Three words.... It is fantastic.  Too often we have been slightly underwhelmed by Pinot, often getting the "same old" dusty, overly sweet rose petal vibe.  But not with this.  This Pinot Noir is built differently and if this is testament to the Chehalem Mountains AVA, then we can't wait to visit some day.  Cherry pie, tobacco leaf, graphite and forest floor on the nose.  Solid medium purple color makes an introduction to rhubarb, cherry pomegranate and a subtle hint of pepper, leading to a finish that leaves you yearning for more.  This wine should be in your cellar and with such a low production, you'd better act fast.  This is drinking wonderfully now and should for another 5-7 years. ABV:  13.5% Chehalem Mountains, OR Production:  94 cases Suggested retail price:  $48.00 Drink The Bottles score:  94/100

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  

2020 Fieldhouse 301 Red Wine

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  This was our first experience with the wines offered by Scout & Cellar of Texas.  They seem to have a little bit of something for just about everyone, especially if you are budget-minded, as most of their offerings are in the $19 - $36 range.  At those prices you can find a daily drinker, no doubt!  This wine is the 2020 Fieldhouse 301 Red Wine (blend) from California.  You would typically find Cabernet Sauvignon in a red blend, but this one is a combination of Zinfandel (48%), Merlot (23%), Petite Sirah (12%), Carignan (9%) and Barbera (8%).   You don't find Carignan in too many California wines, even as a blending grape, so that was interesting to us.  This wine had a great medium purple color with blackberry, coffee bean and menthol nose.  With a lighter-to-medium mouthfeel, flavors of sweet blackberry preserves, roasted coffee beans, pepper and red licorice.  This is not a sugar bomb (if we have given that impression) but it is on the sweeter side.  The really cool thing

2017 Patel Napa Valley Red Wine

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Here's a another winner from a winery that we were introduced to about 13 months ago.  The  2017 Patel Napa Valley Red Wine is a luscious and aromatic offering that offers a dark purple and mouth watering welcome to the palate.  Ripe dark cherry, pencil lead, cocoa bits and cherry tobacco on the nose.  In the mouth is a powerful blend of red fruits, barn wood, black tea and cherry licorice.  This wine is framed with a solid acidic backbone and pulled together nicely for an amazing finish.  Tips the scale at nearly 15% alcohol but the balance is in check.  There were only 150 cases produced, but this one should be in your cellar while you can grab it.  Enjoy it optimally for the next 12-15 years.  Well done! ABV:  14.9% Napa Valley, CA Suggested retail price:  $75.00 Drink The Bottles  score:  93/100

2017 LOBO Wines Custom Red Blend

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  The  2017 LOBO Wines Custom Red Blend is a wonderful example that delicious wines don't have to break the bank.  This Napa Valley stunner blends Syrah (69%), Cabernet Sauvignon (26%) and Merlot (5%) , creating dark and bold aromas of blackberry, cigar smoke and grilling spices.  You get amazing mouth coating flavors of blackberry cobbler, tobacco leaf, vanilla and black cherry. The tannin is powerful yet polished and the finish is one that makes you turn your head and smile.  We filtered and decanted this wine as there was a moderate amount of sediment.  It is absolutely delicious and while it will likely age well for a decade or more, we like this one now or within in the next 3 years for best enjoyment. ABV:  14.8% Napa Valley, CA Suggested retail price:  $70.00 Drink The Bottles  score:  92/100

2019 Caprio Cellars Eleanor Estate Red Wine

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  We were really taken back by the 2018 vintage of this wine and the 2019 doesn't disappoint!  This is the 2019 Caprio Cellars Eleanor Estate Red Wine .  The wine is a Bordeaux Blend that consists of Cabernet Sauvignon (62%), Merlot (20%), Malbec (12%) and Cabernet Franc (6%).  This is not an "in your face" type of wine but rather one with a graceful introduction to blackberry and cherry aromas framed with cedar plank.  In the mouth is a glass-like feel with very polished tannin against flavors of plum, blackberry, cherry cordial and baking spices.  The closing moments of the wine linger and this young wine will surely continue to provide more depth with some time in the bottle.  Simply lovely!  700 cases produced. ABV:  14.5% Walla Walla, WA Suggested retail price:  $60.00 Drink The Bottles  score:  90+/100

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

2017 The Shepherd Estate Red

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  It is always a pleasure working with a winery partner year over year and having the fortune to taste the same label but differing vintages.  We last tasted this wine for the 2014 vintage.  The 2017 The Shepherd Estate Red is once again a blend of Syrah, Zinfandel and Tempranillo.  All of the grapes are sources from estate vines and the mixture of each grape differs each year, depending on the quality of the grapes and the overall desired affect.  This wine is a dark inky purple in the glass and (although tough to see in the picture) the cork is nearly black and sexy.  Solid color to the edge of the glass.  Blueberry pie, cedar bark and plum primarily on the nose.  Baked cherry cobbler, vanilla bean and cremè de cassis are lovely flavors with hints of black pepper wrapped up in lush tannin.  These three grapes are always a favorite and this wine drinks very, very easily now or you can hold it for 5+ years.  Most of the wines are tasted unescorted by food, but this would pair well wit

2019 Mollydooker Two Left Feet

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  We were recently in Chicago visiting family and, of course, we had to check out the local wine store.  It's always fun shopping for wines and bourbons in a "new" city.  You never know what you may find.  Since it can be tough to find Mollydooker close to us (it is hit-and-miss) we decided to grab this bottle.  We have long been Mollydooker fans but had yet to write about any of the 2019 vintages. The 2019 Mollydooker Two Left Feet is a fun way to step outside of MD's famous 100% Shiraz offerings.  This is a blend of Shiraz (69%), Merlot (16% and Cabernet Sauvignon (15%).  Dark magenta in the glass with wonderful, long legs, the wine permeates the air beautifully with fresh raspberry, cherry and spices.  At 16% ABV this wine isn't for the faint of heart.  But it isn't fumy or bear any unpleasant hints of menthol that you can get from other high octane wines.  In the mouth is a effortless and polished feel of a wine that boasts hearty red fruits, aged peppere

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

2019 Upshot White Wine Blend - Rodney Strong Vineyards

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  Once in awhile we are introduced to a wine that really opens your eyes, especially at this price point.  The 2019 Upshot White Wine Blend by Rodney Strong Vineyards is just such a find.  If you're looking for a daily drinker for summer or a fun treat for your guests at your next outdoor dinner party, we think this one is a great choice!  Stone fruits on the nose joined with new spring flowers and a fresh summer rain.  In the mouth are ripe peaches, fig jam and just the perfect touch of salinity that opens up for an incredibly crisp finish.  You'll likely want this one chilled (but not over chilled) and we think this wine would be a great accompaniment to some hard cheeses and cured meats.  Enjoy! ABV:  13.0% Healdsburg, CA Suggested retail price:  $19.00 Drink The Bottles score:  85/100

2016 Coquerel Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

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"You really can't find any great wines under $100 per bottle" is a huge disagreement that you and I can have all day, every day.  It simply isn't true.  This 2016 Coquerel Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is perfect example of what I'm talking about today.  This wine is wonderfully delicious and won't kill your bank account.  And with only 322 cases produced, this wine surely won't be available much longer. In fact, the magnum is sold out, so you have been warned! This wine is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon (about 82%) with a smart blend of Malbec remaining.  This gorgeous color reminds me of black raspberry pie in a glass.  It's deep and the aromas are soul-filling and mouth-watering.  You can really  appreciate the ripe black and red fruits, hint of cedar and dried spices and a bit of vanilla-y graphite.  In the mouth is a powerfully fruit-forward wine that introduces micro tannins with every sip, creating a sleek and persistent finish.  You can certainly

2015 Flora Springs Trilogy

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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! ABV:  14.5% Napa Valley, Californi

2017 Farmhouse White

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The 2017 Farmhouse White from Cline Cellars mixes it up and stands out from most white blends because of the uniqueness of the six varietals that are the backbone of this refreshing beauty.  Medium golden with loads of honeycomb and warm tropic fruits on the nose.  Hints of wildflower appear as this wine warms to (my) proper drinking temperature (which is room temperature).  Blended with Palomino (41%), Muscat Canelli (25%), Roussanne (22%), Marsanne (6%), Viognier (5%) and Riesling (1%), this wine provides a crisp and slightly sweet flavor profile of tropical fruits, pear preserves, key lime pie and cantaloupe. The finish is solid and this wine should be taken seriously, because it is one that will bring you back over and over again.  I would recommend this with raw veggies and dill dip or bruschetta that is high in garlic content. ABV:  13.5% California Suggested retail price:  $15.00 Drink The Bottles score:   87/100

2015 MERF Cabernet Sauvignon

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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. ABV:  14.5% Columbia Valley, Washington Suggested retail price:  $12.99 Drink The Bottles score:   82/

2015 Jon Nathaniel Bodacious

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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?

2015 Frog's Leap Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon

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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 me

2015 J Bookwalter Winery Conflict

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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 t

2016 JACK Reserve Sauvignon Blanc

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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 doe

2015 Krupp Brothers The Water Witch

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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 t