Showing posts with the label merlot

2018 Youngberg Hill Natasha Pinot Noir

  Don't worry wine snobs.  Not all great wines have corks.  The  2018 Youngberg Hill Natasha Pinot Noir is a screwtop but there is nothing screwy about this wine!  Blueberry compote, leather bound book, wet stone and barn dust are prevalent on the nose.  You really get lost in the aromas of this juice and we found our noses in the glass repeatedly!  Berry cobbler, mocha and ripe plum dance on the palate with a firm but not overbearing acidity.  Medium and memorable finish puts this wine in a "must buy" Oregon Pinot category.  It's quite lovely! ABV:  14.0% McMinnville, OR Production:  600 cases Suggested retail price:  $65.00 Drink The Bottles score:  92/100

2015 J Bookwalter Protagonist Cabernet Sauvignon

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

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

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

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

2014 Cline Cellars Sonoma Coast Estate Merlot

I wish I had a dollar for every time over the years someone has asked me, "What's a good wine"?  That's such an open-ended question, especially if you don't know someone's taste preference or budget.  I could spend hours recommending good wines, but you really need some trial-and-error in your life to see what you like.  Even if you like California wines, the flavor profiles vary greatly from appellation to appellation.  Remember, it starts with the soil!  Ok, I think I've rambled on enough here, right?  So, let's talk about this 2014 Cline Cellars Sonoma Coast Estate Merlot.  For those who think they don't like Merlot, it's typically because they haven't had any delicious, 100% Merlot like this one, or they have watched Sideways  too many times.  This beautiful wine is a medium ruby red in color with aromas of dark cherry, chocolate and burnt cedar after intense swirling.  (And if you aren't swirling your wine, you're cheat