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Showing posts with the label cabernet sauvignon

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  

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  

2016 Laurel Glen Counterpoint Cabernet Sauvignon

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  2016 was generally a very good year for California Cabernet Sauvignon.  By far, the growing season was steady and uneventful, allowing grapes to help produce solid wines.  This  2016 Laurel Glen Counterpoint Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma Mountain is 100% Cabernet (yay!) and one that is extremely fairly priced.  We won't say "value priced" wine as that tends to actually devalue a brand.  We are going to call this wine an incredible deal.  Juicy blackberry, plum camp fire and cigar box on the nose with, at times, hints of dried spring flowers.  A dark, robust wine with flavors of black fruits, cherry tobacco, allspice and earthiness.  The wine really pulls you in immediately and leaves a solid finish on the palate.  This is the first Counterpoint that we have tasted and these 50+ year old vines are really strutting their stuff.  Excellent choice!  Drink now or for the next 10 years. ABV:  14.6% Sonoma Mountain, CA Suggested retail price:  $50.00 Drink The Bottles  score

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 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

Winery Adventure: Repris Wines

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We were very blessed to be able to travel to California recently for a wine trip with great friends.  We had planned the trip in 2020, but we had to postpone for a year due to most of the world shutting down from the Covid pandemic.  We decided that we would take this trip in 2021, come hell or high water. Our "Winos" group as we jokingly and affectionately call ourselves, spent a few evenings and many text messages back and forth to discuss the "must visit" wineries as well as those that had been on various wish lists throughout the years.  After much discussion and many emails back and forth to the wineries on our radar, we finally decided on nine wineries that would complete our adventure.  And, so we begun with Day #1...... Repris Wines. We love Southwest Airlines!  However, a non-stop flight from IND to OAK would be ideal. There were three couples who took part in our journey and each one flew into a different airport.  Kris & Scott flew into Sacramento.  R

2017 Fifty Row Cabernet Sauvignon

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  We absolutely love being introduced to new wines and when they are single vineyard beauties you can really appreciate what is in the glass as the grapes are very select and concentrated.  Recently we tasted the 2017 Fifty Row Cabernet Sauvignon .  This is from their Alice Block in Rutherford and the tasting experience was absolutely stunning.  We tasted this straight from the bottle and then with the aerator, both with similar notes.  Lovely, solid dark purple in the glass with long legs.  The nose welcomed aromas of blackberries, pencil lead, dried loose leaf tobacco and toasted brioche.  This is truly a mouth-watering wine and we couldn't wait to taste it.  In the mouth are flavors of blackberry, chocolate bits, plum and cappuccino.  Hints of beautiful, dusty earth really came through with the aeration.   This wine would pair well with some rare prime rib and herb roasted potatoes, but I think you will really enjoy this one sans food.  This is a fine example of Cabernet from th

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

2017 Baldacci Vineyards Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District

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  What an amazing way to start off the new year!  If this bottle is any indication of how 2021 is going to treat us, then bring it on.  If you don't know by now, 100% Cabernet is my absolute favorite wine (if I had to choose just one).  The Baldacci Vineyards 2017 Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon (Stags Leap District) will leave your mouth watering just after the first whiff or two.  This is one of those "make a fist" while taking in the powerful and layered aromas of blackberry, barn wood, dried figs and subtle spices.  This wine is young but you wouldn't know it by the amazing blackberry, tobacco, cocoa powder, hints of raspberry at times and baking spices that introduce themselves and marry for a remarkable tasting experience.  The wine glides in the mouth effortlessly and finishes as smooth as as any wine in recent memory.  To me, this is one of those wines that you shake your head at in disbelief that something could taste this good.  I would love to re-visit this

2016 Baldacci Vineyards Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon

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  We love thinking about wine and what was happening in the vineyards when grapes are picked and turned into a lovely wine like this one.  You have to wonder how gorgeous the fruit must have looked to create a wine that is as black a night with such power and lovely mouthfeel.  The 2016 Baldacci Vineyards Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon is a wonderful example of the unique and beautiful fruits that come from the Stag's Leap District (Napa Valley).  Amazing and definitive aromas of black licorice, raspberry pie filling and baking spices abound.  The color of this wine is hauntingly gorgeous and we knew as soon as we popped this cork we were in for a real treat.  Wonderful, layered flavors of black cherry, chocolate pudding and cinnamon were most dominant, but with additional time in the glass we picked up some very distinct espresso powder and allspice.  We should have decanted this wine for about 30-45 minutes prior to tasting, but Jeff couldn't hold back.  He absolutely LOVES

2017 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon

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Any time we are afforded the opportunity to taste a Cathy Corison wine, we know that we are in for a real treat.  The soon-to-be-released 2017 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is absolutely no exception.  This bottle was tasted in a line up of other Napa cabs about seven weeks ago and we have purposely held off writing about it until the release date is near.   What immediately struck us was how mature and fine this wine appeared in the glass and on the nose, introducing layers of fresh violet bouquet, cedar plank, dusty spice box and whiffs of tar.  The wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvingon and it rewards the taster with black cherry, plum, blackberry pie with a sweet crust and dried spices.  The violets are always dancing in the glass.  The finesse on this work of art is evident by the long and memorable, effortless finish.  You get mesmerized by the amazing fragrances and stunning color of this wine and it is truly one that makes you wish your glass was bottomless.   Incredible!