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Showing posts with the label blend

2015 Readers Merlot

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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 ta

2013 Galante Vineyards Kick Ass Red

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One taste of this California red blend wine and you'll wonder why the price tag isn't closer to the $40 - $45 range.  In other words, the 1000 cases of the 2013 Galante Vineyards Kick Ass Red is 12,000 bottles of what appears to be an undiscovered or certainly underappreciated secret!  Incredibly dark and gripping in the glass, this wine bursts with blackberry, black pepper, burnt ends and smoked animal hide.  Mostly Malbec (70%), it's also joined by Petite Sirah (20%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (10%) which provides some strength, a slightly bolder finish and that dark, sexy coloring.  Mouth-watering blackberry jam, cedar, pepper and a wisp of smoke lead to a finish that has hints more of blueberry and mineral and in a semi-dry and delicious finish.  This is a perfect steak and baked potato wine......or lamb chops......or barbecue chicken.....just about anything meaty!  For those in your life who "don't like red wine", I think you'll change their mind wi

2016 Hedges Family Estate HIP Cabernet Sauvignon

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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! ABV:  13.5% Columbia Valley, Washington Suggested retail price:  $17.00 Drink The Bottles score:  89/100

2015 J Bookwalter Protagonist Cabernet Sauvignon

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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! ABV:  14.9% Columbia Valley, Washington Suggested retail price:  $60.00 Drink The Bottles score:  94/100

2014 Galante Vineyards Rancho Galante Cabernet Sauvignon

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If you love fruit-forward, juicy Cabernet, this is not your huckleberry.  If you love a strong, boldly-structured, memorable wine that is just now realizing it's potential, then I proudly present the 2014 Galante Vineyards Rancho Galante Cabernet Sauvignon.  This smart blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Malbec and Merlot create an absolutely stunning deep garnet color.  The blend of these wines gives this wine a bit green aromas that blend magically with dark fruits, blueberry, spice cake, and vanilla after some time in the glass or in a decanter.  This wine is not hot at all.  In fact, it feels strong and welcoming in the mouth with flavors of blackberry, ripe beefsteak tomato, steak spices and a brief spot of soy sauce at the back of the throat.   The tannins frame the finish of this wine and I tasted it by itself and with dark chocolate chips.  You can eat this with a rare hunk of prime rib now, but I suspect this wine will be even more wonderful in the next 3-5 ye

2015 Hedges Family Estate CMS Red Wine Blend

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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. ABV:  13.5% Columbia Valley, Washington Suggested retail price:  $14.00 Drink The Bottles score:   87/100

2013 Hedges Family Estate Red Mountain Blend

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Oh what fun this gem is!  The 2013 Hedges Family Estate Red Mountain Blend is made up of a myriad of popular wines.  Very dark in the glass all the way to the edge and the well balanced acidity provides for a tart beginning to a semi-sweet, solid finish on this medium bodied, well rounded wine.  A lot of dark fruits are popping through here and they are balanced with the herbs and leathery goodness that come through on the nose and in the mouth.  This wine would pair extremely well with a French Onion Soup or a beautiful bone-in ribeye.  This has been in bottle for nearly 4 years and you could drink this in 5 years and be just as satisfied, if not more.   The makeup on this wine is Cabernet Sauvignon (59%), Merlot (28%), Cabernet Franc (5%), Malbec (4%), Petite Verdot (2%) and Syrah (2%).  Did I mention that I love the color? ABV:  13.5% Red Mountain, Washington Suggested retail price:  $28.00 Drink The Bottles score:  91/100

2015 Avalon Cabernet Sauvignon

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I figured since it was time to start writing again, I might as well start with my favorite varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon.   Now don’t start putting your nose in the air and poo poo this wine because it’s not a 100% Cab.  It’s also not priced like a full blooded red that we love to drink by ourselves and not share with the neighbors.   This  2015 Avalon CAB  is a generous blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon along with Merlot (7%), Tannat (4%), Petit Sirah (2%) and Zinfandel (2%).  With this you’re getting a very affordable and tasty medium to dark red wine that has treats you with baking spices, black cherry, raspberry and some touches of vanilla.   This wine has spent some time in oak barrels which further brings out some mocha on the smooth finish.  The important thing here is that this wine is  very good .  And this wine pairs great with just about anything hearty – a meatloaf, burgers, pizza, some medium to stout flavored cheeses.    You can’t go wrong here and you can impress your fr