Showing posts with label estate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label estate. 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


Thursday, January 24, 2019

2013 Arns Winery Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Arns Winery Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon

This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Arns Winery is another fine example of a powerfully restrained, still young wine with tons of potential.   I "Drink The Bottles" when I get them, so unfortunately, sometimes I miss out what are probably the best years of many stellar wines.  I think that is the case here with the 2013 Estate Grown Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from Arns Winery.  This wine has a gorgeous, sexy black color and a depth that you can see and feel.  Layers of chocolate cake, tobacco leaf, spicy paprika, and cherry cola marry with ease on the nose and in the mouth.  I feel like this wine has so much more to offer and the flavors will explode out of the glass in the next 3-5 years.  But who can wait??  This is a wine that is very tasty now, but will probably bring tears of joy to your eyes if you hold onto it and save it for that special occasion or special someone in the not-so-near future.  With only 300 cases produced, you better grab this quickly!
Arns Winery logo
ABV:  14.8%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $90.00

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100


2012 Arns Winery Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 Arns Winery Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 was a mixed year for many wine producers.  Some soared and some struggled.  Those who did soar rose way above the competition and this 2012 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon from Arns Winery is a fine example of wine made gorgeously and with style.   There is a big contrast in color from the 2011.  This was is very dark and inky, leaving behind a beautiful stamp on the cork.  I decanted this wine for about an hour but couldn't help myself to get lost in the aromas dark fruits, black licorice and damp, loam earthiness.  Solid mouthfeel and the aromas carry over to the same flavors, but add in some cocoa powder and hints of sweet berries on the finish for a mouth covering and memorable drinking experience.   Arns Winery wines are those that you want to take with you to a dinner party.  These are also great wines to share with folks who are not traditionally "wine people", but beware that those folks may think that all wines are this delicious!

2012 Arns Winery Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon label

ABV:  14.8%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $90.00

Drink The Bottles score:  94/100


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

2017 Abacela Albarino

2017 Abacela Albarino

I'm always looking for a new and interesting wine, especially one made with a grape that isn't mainstream or widely produced.  Don't get me wrong - I absolutely love a velvety Chardonnay, but the 2017 Abacela Abarino introduced me to a grape that I had nearly forgotten but don't want to lose sight of again.  This wine is very light and made of a Spanish grape that presents wonderful floral and orange blossom aromas with canning spices.  The wine is crisp but not overly sharp, which allows it to be a great hors d' oeuvres accompaniment or a refreshing cooler on a hot summer day.  I really think this mildly sweet, fruitful wine would pair well with empanadas on the back deck.  With it's low alcohol content and light mouthfeel, you can easily forget that this is a wine, and not in a bad way.  I suggest drinking this lovely wine slightly chilled.

2017 Abacela Albarino label

ABV:  13.2%

Umpqua Valley, Oregon

Suggested retail price:  $21.00

Drink The Bottles score:  90/100

Saturday, May 12, 2018

2011 Arns Winery Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon

2011 Arns Winery Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon

This is the first selection I've had the pleasure of tasting from Arns Winery and I will say without a doubt that they have spoiled me.  Sandi Belcher, winemaker for Arns Winery, had a challenging year as did most in California for this vintage.  But persistence pays off and it has paid off in a BIG way with this 100% varietal 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon!  Bright garnet in the glass and solid to the rim, this wine is not a big fruit bomb and certainly doesn't present itself like a wine of this age.  This gorgeous Cabernet is more reminiscent of an old world Bordeaux style, with muted fruit being replaced by rose petals, barn wood, ripening vegetables and shoe leather.  Instantly, you are transported to a place that is surrounded by people who don't just pop and pour, but truly savor wines that are complex like this with chocolate bits, braised beef, crushed black cherries and again with that beautiful, old world style barn wood and damp earth.  The finish isn't exceptionally long, but it is satisfying and you'll be going back for seconds and thirds of this wine.  The tannins are small and juicy and this wine is absolutely perfect for drinking right now.  I anticipate that it will continue to age gracefully for another 10 years.  After this, I am super excited to taste the 2012 and 2013 vintages soon!

2011 Arns Winery Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon Label

ABV:  14.0%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $85.00

Drink The Bottles score:  95/100




Sunday, April 15, 2018

2013 Galante Vineyards Blackjack Pasture Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Galante Vineyards Blackjack Pasture Cabernet Sauvignon

Bold, chewy and satisfying are adjectives that come to mind with this single vineyards select 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.  No doubt that 100% Cab is among my top favorite varietals, and this 2013 Galante Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon from the Blackjack Pasture is a fine example of a California classic.  Potpourri bouquet of dried cherries, chocolate, Italian herb and prime rib blend evenly  introduce swollen and balanced tannins throughout.  The predominant black cherry flavors are joined by hints of tar and dried herb.  This wine would be a good friend to the biggest, mouth-watering piece of beef that you can find.  The worst part?  Only having one bottle.  Drink for 12+ years!

2013 Galante Vineyards Blackjack Pasture Cabernet Sauvignon Label

ABV:  14.2%

Carmel Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $60.00

Drink The Bottles score:  91/100

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

2014 Abacela Barrel Select Tempranillo

2014 Abacela Barrel Select Tempranillo

One of the most enjoyable things about wine blogging is the ability to not only share stories of great wines through the blog, but also the occasion to physically share a bottle of wine with friends.  And that is exactly what happened with this 2014 Abacela Barrel Select Tempranillo.  I was lucky enough to introduce a new varietal to a friend, honestly not knowing his palate or his preference in wines.  To say that he was impressed would be a gross understatement.  I chuckle inside when someone finds a wine that they love, they take a sip, discover something new, talk about it....and repeat!  Gorgeous dark purple velvet in the glass with blackberry smokiness combines with espresso and exotic spices on the nose, this wine is made proper in all aspects.  In the mouth is a very welcoming and delicious basket of dark fruits, smoke-charred hickory wood and spices that wake you up at first taste and follow this wine all the way to it's very long and memorable finish.  The good news?  This wine is really an amazing example of Tempranillo.  The bade news for my friend?  He might expect all Tempranillo to be made this fine!   Outstanding example of Oregon grapes and stellar wine making.

Abacela wines

ABV:  14.8%

Umpqua Valley, Southern Oregon

Suggested retail price:  $33.00

Drink The Bottles score:  93/100

Thursday, April 5, 2018

2015 Abacela Fiesta Tempranillo

2015 Abacela Fiesta Tempranillo

I'm a sucker for Tempranillo.   It's one of about 4 wines that I really, really enjoy, but think it is either greatly underappreciated or often ignored for more popular varietals.  This 2015 Abacela Fiesta Tempranillo is not only delicious, it is an incredible value for what you get out of the bottle.  Medium to bright crimson throughout the glass, this wine is very fruit forward for this varietal, which is typically more reserved across the board.  Aromas of spiced, stewed red fruits and dark mocha engulf the senses and instantly produce a mouth-watering sensation that is only quenched by the first taste of this beauty.  In the mouth are dark fruits, plum skins, vanilla and a beautiful and smooth finish that again presents the dark mocha.  This wine has been in the bottle for less than a year and it is the kind of bottle that a Tempranillo lover (like myself) would not want to share.  With magic like this, it's easy to understand how Abacela was the Oregon Winery of the Year in 2013. The 2014 vintage is sold out, so get to the Abacela web site to secure your 2015 vintage soon.  Just lovely! 

2015 Abacela Fiesta Tempranillo Label

ABV: 14.2%

Umpqua Valley, Southern Oregon

Suggested retail price:  $23.00

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100

Sunday, March 25, 2018

2014 The Shepherd Estate Red

2014 The Shepherd Estate Red

Once in awhile you pop and cork and get so excited because of the incredible color that is displayed on the cork.  When I pulled the cork out of this 2014 The Shepherd Estate Red wine, I knew I was in for a real good time!  Seriously, it was incredible.  Check out the picture HERE and I know you'll appreciate what I'm talking about.  So, I was completely unfamiliar with Shepherd Wines until I received this bottle.  Shepherd Wines is an offspring of my friends at Truchard Vineyards.  They currently offer 2 wines under the Shepherd label - a Sauvignon Blanc and this Estate Red.

Seldom do I open a wine, roll my eyes skyward and then clinch a fist in pleasure before tasting the wine.  But that is exactly what has happened here.  Before I get into that, I have to tell you that I literally cannot wrap my head around the fact that this wine has a $20 price point.  This wine is clearly worth at least twice that price and with just over 1000 cases produced, this is a wine that won't last long once the word gets out.  This could be the viral wine of this season!  (Clinches fist again.)  This beauty is a blend of Syrah, Zinfandel and Tempranillo.  No wonder I love this wine so much.  These are 3 of my favorite reds.  I think Zinfandel and Tempranillo get overlooked all too often by most people in the wine world.  But we have a love for each other.

Medium red with dark purple hues in the glass, incredibly aromatic blackberry, baking spices, old barn hay mount, vanilla and clove on the nose.  So much going on here and as I was swirling, the aromas literally wafted right up out of the glass before I stuck my nose in.  I knew this was going to be something special - and it is.  Juicy, jammy and mouth-watering flavors of blackberry, barn wood, cherry cobbler and hints of a marinated, lightly peppered brisket.  When I give an overall score on wines, one thing I have to consider other than the obvious (presentation, aromas, flavor, finish) is the value.  And I can't stress this enough.   Twenty bucks for this wine is a flippin' steal!

2014 The Shepherd Estate Red Label

ABV:  14.2%

Napa Valley, Carneros, California

Suggested retail price:  $20.00

Drink The Bottles score:  95/100

Saturday, March 24, 2018

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


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

2014 Galante Vineyards Rancho Galante Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Galante Vineyards Rancho Galante Cabernet Sauvignon

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 years and it will probably knock you out of your cowboy boots then!  If you collect wines (which is contrary to "drink the bottles") you should have no problem cellaring this for 10-15 years.

2014 Galante Vineyards Rancho Galante Cabernet Sauvignon Label

ABV:  14.0%

Carmel Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $40.00

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100

2015 Hedges Family Estate CMS Red Wine Blend

2015 Hedges Family Estate CMS Red Wine Blend

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.

2015 Hedges Family Estate CMS Red Wine Blend Label

ABV:  13.5%

Columbia Valley, Washington

Suggested retail price:  $14.00

Drink The Bottles score:  87/100

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

2017 Hedges Family Estate CMS Sauvignon Blanc

2017 Hedges Family Estate CMS Sauvignon Blanc

The 2017 CMS Sauvignon Blanc from Hedges Family Estate is a brand new, freshly bottled offering that is a very nice surprise compared to the thousands of other options you have.  This wine doesn't stun you with the color, but rather the incredibly aromatic displays of lemon peel, pineapple and pear.  It's not overbearing with lemongrass or fresh cut grass like many of it's brothers and sisters of the same varietal.  While that's quite typical of SB, a little can go a long way!  And just like 99% of white wines, I tasted this one at right around room temperature of 70 degrees.  I do that to get the real feel of the wine.  If you're looking for something refreshing, pop this in the fridge and drink it with a slaw dog and fried mushrooms!  Made in the traditional Sauvignon Blanc style, but this has a fuller mouthfeel with less brightness than typical SB's.  It's a very welcoming surprise and I'm a really big fan!

ABV:  13.5%

Columbia Valley, Washington

Suggested retail price:  $14.00

Drink The Bottles score:  89/100

2017 CMS Sauvignon Blanc close up



2013 Hedges Family Estate Red Mountain Blend

2013 Hedges Family Estate Red Mountain Blend

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