Showing posts with label red. Show all posts
Showing posts with label red. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

2016 Baldacci Vineyards Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon

 



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 wine that presents itself like this.  For those of you who are put off by sediment, you will definitely want to decant.  But this doesn't bother us at all.  We like purple teeth and we know you are going to absolutely love this wine.  This wine would be fun to try again in 15+ years but we think you can cellar it for much longer.  




ABV:  14.5%

Napa Valley, California

1,027 cases produced

Suggested retail price:  $90.00

Drink The Bottles score:  93/100



Monday, August 31, 2020

2017 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon


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!


ABV:  14.2%

Napa Valley, California (St. Helena)

Suggested retail price:  $100.00

Drink The Bottles score:  97/100



Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Gary Farrell Winery Pinot Noir Tasting

Wow, weren't we the lucky ones?   On Tuesday, August 11th, we had the distinct pleasure of taking part in a virtual wine tasting with some great media folks, Sam Folsom of Folsom + Associates and the lovely Theresa Heredia, winemaker at Gary Farrell Winery.  We had a fantastic line up for 7 single vineyard Pinot Noir and want to share our thoughts on some of our favorites....


Here's the line up of these unique and delicious wines that we sampled.  We actually made an afternoon of it, ordering a charcuterie board and inviting a few friends.  It would be a shame to have 7 bottles of wine go to waste.  A few of the folks from our group had never tasted Gary Farrell wines, so this was a win-win for everyone!

  • 2016 Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley
  • 2016 Fort Ross Vineyard Pinon Noir, Fort Ross-Seaview
  • 2016 Hallberg Dijon Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley (Green Valley)
  • 2016 Hallberg Vineyard Pinot Noir, Russion River Valley (Green Valley)
  • 2016 Martaella Vineyard Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
  • 2016 Toboni Vineyard Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
  • 2016 Gap's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir, Petaluma Gap
While all of these wines are absolutely beautiful and unique, the three highlighted wines above were collectively our group's overall favorites.  Some of them also happen to be some of the least expensive of the bunch, so maybe we are cheap dates?

The 2016 Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley was very vibrant with ginger and pomegranate aromas that really permeated the nose and mouth.  Tons of bright red fruits and dried herbs were on the palate and the notable acidity created a long, lovely finish.  If you haven't had any memorable Pinot Noir before, this is where you should start.  Absolutely delicious.  And....you might just find your favorite here!    Drink the Bottles score:  96/100


Next in the lineup was the 2016 Fort Ross Vineyard Pinot Noir, Fort Ross-Seaview and it presented rustic and earthy aromas including dusty book, blackberry and notes of crushed violet petals.  There are tons of plum flavors up front and a hint of soy sauce with a fun, spicy finish.  The colors on this wine are stunning!  Drink the Bottles score:  92/100


Asking a winemaker what wine is their favorite is similar to asking a parent which child is their favorite.  And while Theresa did share some hints to how she leaned, we will tell you up front that the 2016 Hallberg Dijon Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley was our overall #1 wine of the day.  The blue colors against the deep red center were very unique and mesmerizing.  Strawberry jam, cigar box and chocolate on the nose.  In the mouth is a light to medium bodied combination of strawberries, black tea, cigar leaf and raspberries.  The palate gives a bright tingle and Jeff thinks that this is absolutely a great cigar wine!   Drink the Bottles score:  96/100


It's not every day you get to taste a wonderful line up of very individually-tasting wines.  But that's what makes this fun.  Most people have an idea of what a "typical" Pinot Noir tastes like.  However, when you put multiple bottles together, you get to see, smell and taste the differences of the unique growing climates.  Theresa really went into depth about Brix and clones and vineyards, which was absolutely fascinating.  We were surprised to see different some of the wines looked on the cork.

What's a wine tasting without amazing charcuterie?

Halfway through the tasting experience is the 2016 Hallberg Vineyard Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley.  Ripe black cherries, cola and young flowers are prominent.  The tasting was more herbal with wintergreen and sweet cherries.  Full disclosure here - this wine was very unique and all over the place for us.  It seemed like every sip presented new flavors and we would love to try it again sometime.


The 2016 Martaella Vineyard Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley was another real stunner for us!  Blueberries and cedar were dominant and mouth-watering.  This wine seemed to have more structure and was incredibly silky.  Blueberry pie filling, home made biscuits and baking spices were what really stood out in this lovely and fine example of Pinot.  You can really get lost in this wine and at only $65 per bottle and a small production of 618 cases, you should get this one fast!
Drink the Bottles score:  95/100


From the blueberry pie to Syrah.....and we aren't mad!   2016 Gary Farrell Winery Pinot Noir Toboni Vineyard, Russian River Valley was more flowery on than many of the other wines we tasted this day.  In addition to vanilla custard, we noted cedar box, fresh cut flowers and cherries.  There's a solid full body feeling with this wine and it could easily be an every day drinker for the Pinot fan.  Jeff definitely could see some Syrah similarities in this wine and thought the flavor and overall mouthfeel was unique.  The stronger tannins give this wine an edgier feel but your mouth will thank you when you sit back and smile at the juicy finish!  Drink the Bottles score:  94/100

Look at the gorgeous color of these Pinot Noir wines!


Our final wine of the day was the 2016 Gap's Crown Pinot Noir, Petaluma Gap.  At $80 a bottle, it was the most expensive of the lot.  At one point one of the other media participants asked about wine pricing.  Theresa explained that some of the pricing structure had to do with whether or not the winery paid for the grapes or what the yield was for that season.  This wine was definitely the most herbaceous of the group, showing dusty road, saddle leather and hanging potpourri.  Pomegranate was again introduced into the line up with this wine along with cherry preserves, cherry cola and mushrooms.  The color of this wine is reminiscent of a pomegranate and left us with a warm and welcoming finish.  
Drink the Bottles score:  94/100

It was a perfect day for an outdoor Pinot tasting!

If you get the opportunity to taste wines with a winemaker, don't let it go to waste.  Whether it is 7 different varietals or a vertical tasting, you will absolutely love the experience.  We are looking forward to our next virtual tasting.

We invite you to visit Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery to learn more about these wines and purchase them directly from the winery.  In fact, most of the wines presented here are available ONLY from the winery.   Tell them we sent you!  Cheers!













Tuesday, August 4, 2020

2016 Knights Bridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley



This wine was the second bottle of the night and had so much going on.  The first bottle was an 'every day drinker' that we have a case of at the house.  Immediately upon popping the cork, we were pretty confident that we had something very special with this 2016 Knights Bridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.  On the nose was a wonderful mix of violets, blueberry, tobacco leaf and suggestions of cedar.  This is one of those wines that really make your mouth water as you're pouring your first drops in the glass.  We were very pleased how smooth this wine is and what full flavors jumped out of the glass.  Dark cherry, cocoa powder and grilling spices were all showing their colors and left a gorgeous feel in the mouth and at the finish.  This is a wine that will really hold up well for the next decade or longer.  It is absolutely appealing to the Cabernet lover!  We encourage you to reach out to the winery to pick up this wine here:  2016 KB Estate Cabernet Sauvignon


ABV:  14.5%

Knights Valley (Sonoma County), California

Suggested retail price:  $60.00

Drink The Bottles score:  93/100

Friday, July 31, 2020

2018 Baldacci Family Vineyards Fraternity



If you are looking for a wine that pairs with just about anything in your pantry or freezer, you have found it in the 2018 Baldacci Family Vineyards Fraternity blend.   Don't roll your eyes and scoff about red blends....certainly not this one!  The picture above should really be all that you need to know about how much we enjoyed this wine.   The bottle is empty!  This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (45%), Merlot (36%), Cabernet Franc (10%), Syrah (7%) and Petit Verdot(2%) is exceptionally balanced and a real palate masseuse!  This wine opens with grandma's homemade preserves, dried spices and some incredible hints of earthiness.  It is absolutely full of fruit flavors like juicy bing cherries, ripe plum and multi-berry cobbler, including the taste of spice racks flavors in the crust.  It is always incredible to sip a wine like this, sit back and just laugh at how wonderful it is at this price point.  This wine is young but it drinks like it has been bottled for 10 years.  The color on this wine is absolutely captivating and you just want to get lost in those legs.  We applaud Michael Baldacci on this lovely bottle.  You can find this online directly from the winery here:  2018 Baldacci Fraternity Red Wine


ABV:  14.5%

Napa Valley, California

2,833 cases produced

Suggested retail price:  $50.00

Drink The Bottles score:  94/100



Monday, July 20, 2020

2017 Pope Valley Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon



We absolutely LOVE trying new wines!  And we get super-excited when we get a chance to work with someone we have never tasted before, as is the case here.  This is the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) from Pope Valley Winery.  As you can see, in the glass what you would expect from a beautiful Cabernet - dark to the rim.  This young wine was swirled extensively and the cherry and spice aromas leaped effortlessly from the glass.  In the mouth was blackberry preserves, cedar, at times a hint of dark chocolate and a very solid and definite finish.  Despite teetering the 15% ABV mark, this wine is not hot in any way, which is testament to the winemaker and time in the barrel.  The tannin was surprising small and soft.  The winemaker states that this wine spent 26 months in oak before bottling and we absolutely love the youthfulness and potential to age this wine.  This would be a fun one to open again in a year, 3 years and 5 years.  At this price point, you really can't go wrong.  This wine is very lovely and worth your time.  You can purchase this wine directly from the winery here:  


ABV:  14.84%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $52.00

Drink The Bottles score:  91/100



Monday, July 13, 2020

2016 Coquerel Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon


"You really can't find any great wines under $100 per bottle" is a huge disagreement that you and I can have all day, every day.  It simply isn't true.  This 2016 Coquerel Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is perfect example of what I'm talking about today.  This wine is wonderfully delicious and won't kill your bank account.  And with only 322 cases produced, this wine surely won't be available much longer. In fact, the magnum is sold out, so you have been warned!


This wine is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon (about 82%) with a smart blend of Malbec remaining.  This gorgeous color reminds me of black raspberry pie in a glass.  It's deep and the aromas are soul-filling and mouth-watering.  You can really appreciate the ripe black and red fruits, hint of cedar and dried spices and a bit of vanilla-y graphite.  In the mouth is a powerfully fruit-forward wine that introduces micro tannins with every sip, creating a sleek and persistent finish.  You can certainly pop this one open now or cellar this for several years.  This wine is solid and very delightful.  Please visit my friends at Coquerel Wines to purchase this directly here:  2016 Coquerel Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

ABV:  14.5%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $60.00

Drink The Bottles score:  91/100

Monday, July 6, 2020

NV Winking Owl Merlot



Why would you buy a bottle of wine for $2.49 you ask?  I honestly don't have an answer.  Curiosity probably got the best of me.  Flashbacks of "Two Buck Chuck" bounced around in my head as I passed this at Aldi several times yesterday.  But I like to keep an open mind and I'm always up to a challenge so I figured at this price, I'm really no worse for wear.  This bottle is less than a cup of coffee at most restaurants and I've spent far more money on less satisfying objects in my lifetime.  So, without further ado, I present the non-vintage Winking Owl Merlot.....

I should start by saying that I am generally perplexed by anyone who can put wine in a bottle for this price.  After all, sans juice, you still have the bottle, the cork, the label, the capsule, the outer packaging, the marketing, etc, etc to take into consideration of the total cost at checkout.  So when you remove those items from the cost of the bottle of wine, what do you have?  I would guess about $.38 worth of actual "product" in the bottle.  You can quickly realize that this wine is made in the thousands or tens of thousands of gallons.  Don't get me wrong here.  Mass producing wines is commonplace in the industry for larger companies and there are a fair number of higher quality wines that are birthed this way.  In fact, E&J Gallo (they're the wine behemoth that produces this label) started out generations ago as grape sellers and eventually as a bulk wine dealer).  This is right in their wheelhouse.   

I'm not going to lie.  I see this wine marketed to or appealing to the 40-something single woman, sipping away in her bathtub on a Saturday night as she listens to Yanni and swipes left or right on Tinder.   Too harsh?  Hell, she might even have a two-bottle night if she can indulge herself with a Fabio book and some chocolates.  I digress.....


The wine is a lovely medium red color and thin in appearance.  Subtle but typical Merlot aromas of raspberry and vanilla are most recognizable.  Is there a black cherry in there?  Perhaps with some time in the glass and vigorous swirling you can pull additional aromas.  In the mouth is a straight-forward, very fruity glass of what some might refer to as a table wine or maybe even a "free" wine at your cousin Lenny's wedding.  It's not memorable and the finish is almost non-existent.  For the back label to state that this is a medium bodied wine is, well.........inaccurate.   That's not to say that this wine is a complete dud.  It isn't.  It is a bottle of wine................for under.............$3.00.  Let that sink in.  I often refer to these types of wine as Midwestern wines, because in my experience, folks throughout the Midwest loooooooooooove their fruit bombs.

Again, it's not horrible.  It really isn't.   What I'll reiterate is that it is a cheap bottle of wine and you get what you pay for in most cases.  We have come a long way since the Charles Shaw plonk and this wine proves just that.  I'm not going to go out and buy a couple of cases, but I had fun tasting this.  And for the record, I paired it with some delicious steak tips.  When assigning a score, I have to look at the complete picture.  The marketing and affordability really add to the overall appeal and score here.  And if you're looking to buy this at your local wine store, you won't find it.  The Winking Owl label is available exclusively at Aldi.   And you can find some really amazing cheeses at Aldi to pair this wine with this Saturday night!

ABV:  12.0%

California

Suggested retail price:  $2.95

Drink The Bottles score:  80/100


Tuesday, June 16, 2020

2018 Calculated Risk Sonoma County Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon



Full disclosure here.   I purchased a few different cases of "close out" wines from an online discounter just to have some cheaper, every day drinking wine.  One of the purchases was this 2018 Calculated Risk Sonoma County Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.  I bought 4 bottles and for the price (and free shipping), I thought it was worth the..................wait for it...............calculated risk.  (Insert laughter here).  I digress.

This wine really didn't disappoint.  Of the wines that I purchased from the discount vendor, this one was one that I preferred over many that were less than spectacular.  There was a very distinct Cabernet nose and medium red color.  Sometimes you can open a cheap Cabernet only to find that you struggle to identify the aromas that typically accompany these grapes.  This was not the case here.  Dried fruit with dark chocolate yielded to dark, ripe cherries and a faint dusty book taste.  The finish wasn't incredibly long but it was pleasant and kept me coming back to finish the bottle.   I'm definitely not mad at myself for trying this one, although the suggested list price tag on the winery web site would leave you scratching your head (I paid $14.99 and free shipping).  I don't think this bottle would be one you could take a glass or two from and put back for another day.  It's a one and done deal!  Drink now through 2024.

ABV:  14.0%

Sonoma County, California

Suggested retail price:  $49.99

Drink The Bottles score:  86/100

Friday, June 12, 2020

2017 MollyDooker The Boxer Shiraz


It has been waaaaaaaaay too long since I have 1) posted (more about that below) and 2) enjoyed any MollyDooker wines.   I found a local wine store who carries MD, so I'm a happy guy now!  The 2017 Boxer is just as lovely as previous years and I get completely lost in a bottle of my favorite Australian producer very easily.  Yes, I did do the Mollydooker Shake on this bottle.....make that these bottles as we drank them both in an evening.  The richness of plum, chewy chocolate and cherry pie filling completely filled the mouth and created a find coating and incredible finish.  I find around my hometown many folks are not familiar with MollyDooker, and I'm going to make it my mission to educate them on these delicious wines!

Part two?  Where have I been?  I've been here tasting wines and posting mainly on Instagram.  I have had one heck of a time accessing both my blog and email associated with the blog.  I had accidentally stopped my email subscription some months ago and it is nearly impossible to get things up and running again.  BUT, with the help of a very nice gentleman today (after multiple request tickets, phone calls and chats to Google), I again have full access to my blog and email!  You will be seeing more of me now!.

ABV:  16.0%

McLaren Vale, South Australia

Suggested retail price:  $30.00

Drink The Bottles score:  90/100

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


Monday, March 18, 2019

2016 Priest Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon

2016 Priest Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon

Every once in awhile you taste a wine, taste it again, and then have to scratch your head at the price tag.  Could a wine this wonderful, a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, really be just $50 retail?  Am I seeing that correctly?  The 2016 Priest Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon is an unfiltered beauty that really pushed be back in my chair!  Absolutely mouth-coating and full of delicious dark fruits, dark chocolate, whisps of dried spices and incredibly satisfying tannins that dance on the palate from beginning to end.  I'll be honest with you.   I spent minutes just swirling and smelling this wine, both at the beginning and throughout the tasting experience.  It's that good.  And remember, you could go to a restaurant and spend $12 - $16 for a glass of wine from a $20 bottle that is mediocre or you go visit the Priest Ranch Winery web site and purchase a few bottles of this Cabernet, knowing that you are getting more than your money's worth!  Highly recommended.

2016 Priest Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon label

ABV:  14.8%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $50.00

Drink The Bottles score:  94/100


Monday, March 4, 2019

2016 Coquerel Cabernet Franc Bennett's Vineyard

2016 Coquerel Cabernet Franc Bennett's Vineyard

Admittedly, I am not a huge Cabernet Franc fan because historically most of it has left me wanting more, often wondering if all Cab Franc was lackluster or if I had just been unlucky.  After today, I am putting all of that behind me and all Cabernet Franc will be judged against this 2016 Coquerel Bennett's Vineyard Cabernet Franc.  Yes, you read that right.   This wine spoils you because it is a 100% varietal and made from a single vineyard - and it shows!   Incredible dark maroon color with lifting aromatics of very ripe blackberries, cassis, hints of barn wood and cherry show the same on the palate with very juicy tannins and a finish that is surely a fist clencher.   I know it was for me.  This wine would pair well with braised short ribs but if you truly love Cabernet Franc, I would recommend this wine with a good book or a lazy Sunday on the sofa.   It's truly a work of art and at only 96 cases you should grab this quickly!


2016 Coquerel Cabernet Franc Bennett's Vineyard label

ABV:  14.8%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  SOLD OUT

Drink The Bottles score:  96/100


Thursday, January 24, 2019

Arns Winery NV Impromp2 2 Cabernet Sauvignon

Arns Winery NV Impromp2 2 Cabernet Sauvignon
This non-vintage 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Arns Winery started out as an experiment in wine aging and Sandi Belcher and her team have hit a home run.  This wine is a fine example of smart blending, expert wine making and risk taking that paid off in a big way.  This wine has three separate vintages in a single bottle.  This wine is rooted in a gorgeous purple color and presents lung-filling aromas of ripe blackberries, chocolate, saddle leather and toasty cedar.  There's a great mid palate feel with this one and generous flavors of dark berries, cedar, dark chocolate, tar and spice box.  This is everything you want to see in a quality Cabernet Sauvignon and I think this is an experiment that went extremely well!  I love seeing winemakers step outside of the box and I think you'll love this too.  Only 200 cases were produced and at this price point, it won't last long.

Arns Winery NV Impromp2 2 Cabernet Sauvignon label

ABV:  14.5%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $65.00

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100

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


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

2014 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Armillary Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Armillary Cabernet Sauvignon

Man, this one is BIG!   I received this bottle of 2014 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Armillary Cabernet Sauvignon last week and let it rest a few days before tasting.   Tasted over two days, this initially tossed around aromas of plum, leather, cedar, menthol and a touch of sage again big, rich tannins and a lingering finish.  Despite the 15%+ alcohol content, this wasn't hot at all.  In fact, it was beautifully made and a real pleasure to drink.  I was lucky enough to have some of this to taste a second night with a chicken pasta dish that I make regularly and the pairing was spot on.  The wine was more Bing cherry, cocoa powder and tea leaves with saddle leather and neither the pasta or wine overpowered each other.  I absolutely adore a 100% Cabernet that is completely mouth-coating as this one and if you're looking for an amazing wine to share with friends, this is your huckleberry!

2014 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Armillary Cabernet Sauvignon label

ABV:  15.3%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $125.00

Drink The Bottles score:  94/100

Friday, September 28, 2018

2013 d'Arenberg The Custodian Grenache

2013 d'Arenberg The Custodian Grenache

Going back a bit on this one (the 2015 is currently available) with the 2013 d'Arenberg Grenache wine - The Custodian.  For between $15 - $20 you can get a ton of enjoyment with this solid wine that boasts aromas of black raspberry, plum, pepper and licorice.   It's a straight forward crowd pleaser that would really be an exception add-on to your thick, medium rare steak.  The finish is quick but memorable on this one and it would be hard for anyone to think otherwise.  I really enjoy d'Arenberg wines and this one should be on your radar.

2013 d'Arenberg The Custodian Grenache label

ABV:  14.3%

McLaren Vale, South Australia

Suggested retail price:  $20.00

Drink The Bottles score:  90/100

Monday, September 24, 2018

2015 Flora Springs Trilogy

2015 Flora Springs Trilogy

The 2015 Trilogy red wine from Flora Springs is a solid pleasure provider that was the star of the show on Cabernet Day this year, hands down!  Incredibly dark purple in the glass, the blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (82%), Malbec (10%) and Petit Verdot (8%) is a slice of heaven in the glass.  So much flavor and elegance with sweet plum, tar, black currant, cedar shavings and black cherry showing off the fine tannins and long legs.  For such a young wine, this one is incredibly velvety on the tongue and the finish and you would swear it has been in the bottle closer to 10 years.  The fruit aromas carry over to the flavors and there is a sweetness that is reminiscent of swirling my vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup together as a kid.  The price point adds to the attractiveness of such a remarkable wine and while it would pair amazingly with a brisket, I chose to drink this one unaided and with a smile on my face ... and my glass!


2015 Flora Springs Trilogy label

ABV:  14.5%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $80.00

Drink The Bottles score:  94/100


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

2014 d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz

2014 d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz

I first tasted d'Arenberg wines about ten years ago and fell in love instantly.  Fast forward a decade, they have an incredible offering of wines and price points for just about every taste bud and pocket book.  The Dead Arm Shiraz is wildly popular and this 100% varietal is leaping out of the glass with spices, black fruit, coffee bean and damp earth.  This is one of those wines that get better with each sip (if that's possible) and you can't help but to be mesmerized by the deep purple color, so much that you find yourself helplessly swirling this wine throughout the drinking experience.  It's enchanting!  Ripe, dark berries with hints of farm pasture are on the flavor wheel with this one and there is a definitive, long and welcoming spicy and slightly woody finish that begs for more.  There is absolutely no doubt that this wine is going to evolve into a beautiful butterfly and despite the wonderful flavors you experience now, it will be more incredible in 10+ years.   By then, it could be considered "the" perfect wine!

2014 d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz label

ABV:  14.4%

McLaren Vale, South Australia

Suggested retail price:  $70.00

Drink The Bottles score:  95/100

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