Posts

Showing posts with the label red

2020 Bells Up Winery Jupiter Pinot Noir

Image
  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

2020 Bells Up Winery Jupiter Pinot Noir

Image
  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

2021 Bells Up Winery Prelude Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir

Image
  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

2020 Penny's Hill Malpas Road McLaren Vale Merlot

Image
  Situated in McLaren Vale which happens to be one of Australia's most exciting wine regions, here are things you would want to know about the Penny’s Hill Winery . History Established in 1988, this promising winery is named after the hill at the base of which it is located. Considering this winery has all the elements of a great vineyard in place, the vines were planted in 1991 at the property in a unique narrow-row configuration to amplify vineyard productivity along with grape and wine quality. In the year 1993, the newly-planted Malpas Road property was purchased, followed by an adjacent highly prized hay-producing paddock in 1996 that was planted to vines and named Goss Corner. After wo years, the original Goss family homestead, ‘Ingleburne’ was added to the Malpas and Goss properties to reconnect to make it an entire holding. Ownership & The Team Founder Tony Parkinson passed on the ownership and management of the business to his good friend and fellow Sou

2018 Hamel Family Wines Isthmus

Image
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  

2019 Patland Estate Vineyards Napa Valley Syrah

Image
  Just released from Patland Estate Vineyards Just released!   We are always excited to share wines from Patland Estate Vineyards , as we have become really big fans over the past couple of years.  Their Syrah has consistently provided consistent quality with anticipated deliciousness and the 2019 vintage is hanging right there with previous ones.  Gorgeous, deep garnet color with dominating aromas of dark ripe plum, crushed blueberries and Portobello mushroom.  With some additional time in the glass, cracked pepper, Asian spices and sweet smoke appear and combine together with damp earth for a memorable finish.  This wine is a real treat and with only 110 cases produced, it is priced right.  While it is very young now, it is starting to come into its own.  We recommend holding back a bottle or 2 and enjoy this for the next 15-20 years without any second thought. Drink now or hold for even more enjoyment ABV:  14.8% Napa Valley, CA 110 cases produced Suggested retail price:  $85.00 Dri

2020 Fieldhouse 301 Red Wine

Image
  This was our first experience with the wines offered by Scout & Cellar of Texas.  They seem to have a little bit of something for just about everyone, especially if you are budget-minded, as most of their offerings are in the $19 - $36 range.  At those prices you can find a daily drinker, no doubt!  This wine is the 2020 Fieldhouse 301 Red Wine (blend) from California.  You would typically find Cabernet Sauvignon in a red blend, but this one is a combination of Zinfandel (48%), Merlot (23%), Petite Sirah (12%), Carignan (9%) and Barbera (8%).   You don't find Carignan in too many California wines, even as a blending grape, so that was interesting to us.  This wine had a great medium purple color with blackberry, coffee bean and menthol nose.  With a lighter-to-medium mouthfeel, flavors of sweet blackberry preserves, roasted coffee beans, pepper and red licorice.  This is not a sugar bomb (if we have given that impression) but it is on the sweeter side.  The really cool thing

2018 Enkidu Cabernet Sauvignon High Mayacamas

Image
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  

2018 Davis Bynum Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Image
  The 2018 Davis Bynum Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is an absolutely lovely and fragrant wine.  The color is absolutely stunning and the aromas of fresh strawberry field, tea and oak draw you in immediately.  In the mouth you are quickly greeted by fresh and juicy strawberries, damp earth joined with silky tannin.  This wine could easily be an everyday drinker for the Pinot Noir fanatic.   ABV:  14.5%  Sonoma County, CA Suggested retail price:  $25.00 Drink The Bottles  score:  89/100

2016 Laurel Glen Counterpoint Cabernet Sauvignon

Image
  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

2018 Galante Vineyards Olive Hill Petite Sirah

Image
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.  Str

2017 Patel Napa Valley Red Wine

Image
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

Image
  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

Image
  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

2019 Dawn's Dream Winery Eliza Jane Syrah

Image
We have tasted many Pinot Noir from Dawn's Dream Winery over the years and this is an honor to taste the inaugural vintage of this Syrah.  The  2019 Dawn's Dream Winery Eliza Jane Syrah is named after Dawn's first granddaughter and the bottle label is also a tribute to her nickname, Ladybug.  The wine features a charming red color with aromas of raspberry, mild pepper, plum and spice.  Fresh wild blueberry flavors fill the mouth and dance with saddle leather, dried spices and lead to a very bright and lingering finish.  This wine is very well balanced and not over spiced or fuming of alcohol, which can be common with Syrah.  You would never guess that this is the first production of this wine by the restrained elegance that it presents.  Terrific!   ABV:  13.5% Carmel Valley, CA Suggested retail price:  $58.00 Drink The Bottles  score:  93/100

2019 Galante Vineyards Almond Flat Pinot Noir

Image
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! ABV:  13.2% Carmel Valley, CA Suggested retail price:  $50.00 Drink The Bottles score:  91/100

2018 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Image
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

Image
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

Image
  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

Image
  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

2018 Sokol Blosser Dundee Hills Estate Pinot Noir

Image
  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.   ABV:  14.0% Dundee Hills, OR Suggested retail price:  $42.00 Drink The Bottles score:  90+/100