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

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Winery Spotlight: Krupp Brothers Estate

 

Krupp Brothers Winery

About ten years ago, Jeff blindly reached out to Krupp Brothers winery to introduce himself as a fledgling wine blogger.  The winery was kind enough to send Jeff a few bottles to review, and the rest, as they say, is history.  We have been very enthusiastic fans of Krupp Brothers wines and have enjoyed sharing these wines not only virtually with their readers, but in person with their friends.  And, just as it should happen, it did.  Those friend started buying Krupp Brothers wines and eventually some of them became wine club members.  

In late August, we had the opportunity to travel with close friends to Napa and Sonoma for an amazing wine adventure.  This was our second visit to the Krupp Brothers estate in as many years and we were excited to share this special place with a new couple joining us on our trip this year.


The Porsche tractor at Krupp Brothers
"Napa Scott" posing with the Porsche tractor outside of the tasting room.  We believe that this is an obligator picture for anyone visiting the estate.

Our visit started with estate director Tyler Hinsley and our wine educator/tour guide Sierra Fiddler greeting us at the end of the picturesque drive.  I'd like to think they were eager to see us (which we know they were) but it might also be because we were running about 10 minutes late since we had just landed and headed straight to the estate from the Sacramento airport.

Cabernet grapes at the Krupp Brothers estate
The grapes were looking amazing and about to burst! 

Because our trip was late August/early September, harvest was just around the corner.  Overall, the grapes this year looked, smelled and tasted extraordinary and the consensus in Napa Valley is that 2022 would be another vintage for the record books.  

Cabernet Sauvignon sign
Cabernet Sauvignon at Krupp Brothers estate

Sierra showed us around the estate and guided us to the veranda overlooking the manicured and beautiful vineyards.  She told us about the history of Krupp Brothers, Stagecoach Vineyard and the story about finding water in an area that was believed to be desolate.  Sierra was a breath of fresh air and incredibly enthusiastic and knowledgeable about "everything" Krupp Brothers.

Sierra Fiddler of Krupp Brothers
Sierra Fiddler, tour guide extraordinaire

Much to our surprise, Dr. Jan Krupp, showed up and greeted us out back.  To say that I was over-the-moon would be a gross understatement.  While we met Dr. Krupp previously, it really meant a lot for him to take time out of his busy scheduled to entertain our questions for nearly an hour.  Believe me, I'm sure he's heard them all before!  Maybe our next tasting can be at his house?  (Hint, hint Dr. K!)

Dr. Jan Krupp in tasting room
Dr. Jan Krupp fielding the group's questions and telling us stories

If you ever have the opportunity to sit down with a wine maker or a vintner, do NOT pass up the chance.  We learned so much from our time with Dr. Krupp and we had a lot of laughs on the way.  This is time that we will treasure forever!

Krupp Brothers tasting line up
Incredible setting and gorgeous wines at the Krupp Brothers estate tasting room

Our tasting included five (no, make that 6 because of a 'bonus' tasting) Krupp Brothers wines and charcuterie.  Each wine was unique, elegant and incredibly special.  It's so tough to pick a favorite.  We were determined this year to cellar some of our purchases away so we can enjoy them for many years.  All too often we drink the wines young and don't appreciate the aging capabilities of these gems.  We WILL be sharing our thoughts on these wines on the blog and social media at a later date.

Tyler Hinsley, estate director
Tyler Hinsley, estate director for Krupp Brothers

Another highlight of our visit was our new friend and estate director, Tyler Hinsley.  Tyler's genuine kindness, enthusiasm and excitement about the Krupp Brothers label was infectious.  He even helped us locate a couple of library wines that we can open at a much later date.  Tyler was incredible nice on the phone and via email, but became an immediate friend when we met him in person.  We also had the chance to hang out with Tyler later that evening when we visited the Krupp Brothers downtown tasting room for a fun time.

The California Wine Group at Krupp Brothers
The "Cali Wine Trip" crew with Dr. Jan Krupp

There are literally hundreds of wineries you can visit in Napa and Sonoma.  In fact, the toughest part of planning any trip is narrowing down the list and then narrowing it down again.  While wish we could visit them all, visiting the special places like Krupp Brothers completes our adventure and creates memories of a lifetime.  Krupp Brothers is definitely a "must re-visit" destination for us and we think you will love it too!

For more information about Krupp Brothers, their story, their history and those incredible wines, please check out https://www.kruppbrothers.com

Dr. Jan Krupp and Jeff Lawson
You didn't really think I wasn't going to get this picture, did you!?



Posted by Jeff




















Monday, August 22, 2022

2021 Bells Up Winery Prelude Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir

 

2021 Bells Up Winery Prelude Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir

Kicking off our series of Oregon wines, we started with this inviting Rosé that is as gorgeous in the glass as it is on the tongue.  The 2021 Bells Up Winery Prelude Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir first captures the eye with the stunning reddish hue, darker than many other Pinot Noir rosé on the market.  It was intriguing and immediately mouth-watering.  We tasted this wine both on its own merit and with food (which is unusual for us, but we had to prove a point to ourselves).  With ample time in the glass, we began swirling and collecting pleasant, but not overpowering, aromas of strawberry and pomegranate.  The fruit is more noticeable on the palate and the acid is in check and doesn't even begin to overpower this easy-drinking wine.  The finish is subtle and enjoyable.  While we don't always taste wines with food, there was something here that was urging us to do so. We tasted this with a variety of salty cheeses and the pairing was absolutely incredible.  This is definitely a "food" wine and one of the best Rosé of Pinot Noir that we have tasted in recent memory.  

2021 Bells Up Winery Prelude Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir Label


ABV:  12.9%

Chehalem Mountains, OR

Production:  101 Cases

Suggested retail price:  $28.00

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100






Monday, January 10, 2022

2018 Galante Vineyards Olive Hill Petite Sirah

2018 Galante Vineyards Olive Hill Petite Sirah

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.  Strong but welcoming tannin framed the flavors of blackberry jam, violets and barn wood to a finish that was very strong but not overpowering.  We really appreciate a Petite Sirah that isn't jammed up by blending grapes and this offering from Galante Vineyards really allows the fruit to shine.  It is absolutely delicious!

2018 Galante Vineyards Olive Hill Petite Sirah label


ABV:  14.0%

Carmel Valley, CA

Suggested retail price:  $55.00

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100
 

Thursday, November 18, 2021

2019 Galante Vineyards Almond Flat Pinot Noir

2019 Galante Vineyards Almond Flat Pinot Noir

We are excited to be partnering with Jack Galante and his team at Galante Vineyards again and it was a lot of fun to taste this wine.  This is the 2019 Galante Vineyards Almond Flat Pinot Noir which is from estate fruit and 100% Pinot.  Bright aromas of crushed strawberries and orange zest initially with mushroom and dried herb following closely.  Cranberry and strawberry dominate the palate, joined by pleasant but not overpowering earthy and slightly smoky flavors leading to a long finish with modest and welcome tannin.  This wine is very young and you will have many years of enjoyment.  We tend to crush on wines that are estate-fruit driven and these higher altitude grapes create a memorable tasting experience with this offering.  The price is right and this wine would pair very well with a herbal, roasted chicken dinner with carrots.  This is absolutely lovely!

2019 Galante Vineyards Almond Flat Pinot Noir Label

ABV:  13.2%

Carmel Valley, CA

Suggested retail price:  $50.00

Drink The Bottles score:  91/100


Tuesday, October 26, 2021

2018 Sokol Blosser Dundee Hills Estate Pinot Noir

 

2018 Sokol Blosser Dundee Hills Estate Pinot Noir

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.  

2018 Sokol Blosser Dundee Hills Estate Pinot Noir label

ABV:  14.0%

Dundee Hills, OR

Suggested retail price:  $42.00

Drink The Bottles score:  90+/100





Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Patland Estate Vineyards Mystery Box Wine Deal!

 

Patland Estate Vineyards Mystery Box of Wine

It's not very often that you see a blog post here about a wine promotion.  In fact, this may be the first time!  But that is how excited and passionate that we are about this incredible deal!  Patland Estate Vineyards is once again offering their "Mystery Box" of wine for a limited time.  Keep reading...

Patand Vineyards Mystery Box

To tempt you even more, we've been given the green light to share with you what was in last year's Mystery Box.  If you purchased this, you did VERY well (but you already know that!).

Last year's box included nearly $1500 worth of wine.  The six amazing bottles of wine were:

  • 2008 Syrah
  • 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2011 Malbec
  • 2012 Pinot Noir
  • 2014 Port
  • 2016 Sauvignon Blanc
What's In The Box?

What will be in this year's box?  We don't have all of the details but we know WITHOUT A DOUBT that you will receive some incredible wines for a fraction of the price.  Did we mention that the Mystery Box not only includes 6 incredible wines but also free shipping!  What a deal!

Six Mystery Wines for $499 and Free Shipping

This isn't some gimmicky wine club where you spend $49 and get $11 worth of wine (and most of that value is in the glass for the bottles).  Michael Patland of Patland Estate Vineyards has told us repeatedly that this is without a doubt his favorite promotion of the year and it is always a mind-blowing value for the consumer.  We cannot stress this incredible deal from an amazing winery!  Get it now.

This deal ends October 31st.  Visit Patland Estate Vineyards today to get this deal!











Monday, September 27, 2021

2017 The Shepherd Estate Red

 

2017 The Shepherd Estate Red wine

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 with a hearty cut tomahawk steak with seasoned potatoes.  And, as always, this wine is an incredible bargain at just $25 suggested retail.

2017 The Shepherd Estate Red wine label

ABV:  14.2%

Napa Valley, Carneros, CA

Suggested retail price:  $25.00

Drink The Bottles score:  89/100




Friday, March 26, 2021

2018 Patland Estate Vineyards Select Barrel Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

 

2018 Patland Estates Select Barrel Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

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!

2018 Patland Vineyards Barrel Reserve Cab


ABV:  14.8%

Napa Valley, CA

295 cases produced

Suggested retail price:  $200.00

Drink The Bottles score:  93/100



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

High West Distillery Cask Strength and High Country Single Malt Whiskeys

  High West Distillery was founded in 2006 by David Perkins, and his wife Jane and began distilling in 2007.  You've undoubtedly seen th...