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1997 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1997
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$225.00USD

Dunn Cabernet's have a reputation of taking forever to get to maturity but lasting a long time.  While that is more true for the Howell Mountain, it is also true for the Napa.  This one was purchased on release to celebrate occasions as my daughter, born in the same vintage grew up.  So, when she graduated college, this one was on the list.  It is drinking wonderfully right now and does not seem like it is 22 years from vintage.  It will easily go another decade and may be two before heading south.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is nice with cassis, some cigar box and spice. 

1997 Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Brut Cuvée Palmes d'Or, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1997
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$130.00USD

Opened to celebrate the graduation from college of my daughter who was born in 1997.  This comes in a beautiful bottle (they call it a hand grenade) of dimpled glass.  It is the luxury wine from this producer and while not one of the better luxury wines, it is an excellent bottle of Champagne.  1997 was a wonderful year for daughters but just an ok year for Champagne.  Yet, this bottle showed very well and was a welcome part of the celebration.  Golden in color.  There were still a fair amount of smaller bubbles.   There is just a touch of oxidation in the wine.  The nose is nice with pears

2016 Halcon Vineyards Petite Sirah Tierra Theopolis Vineyard, USA, California, Mendocino, Yorkville Highlands, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$32.00USD

I absolutely loved this wine.  And for $32, this is a great value.  What I like about Petite Syrah is that it is not as boisterous as Syrah but in a similar vein.  The two grapes are not (at least closely) related.  Many times it seems Petite producers try to "correct" for this and get too much ripeness.  It is a fine line, but this wine really does a wonderful job of expressing the true qualities of Petite.  It does need some air and time to open, so keep that in mind if drinking now.  Or better yet, cellar a few bottles and open them in ten years!  Inky purple in color.  The nose has blac

2011 Saxum James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$110.00USD

This was a difficult vintage in most of California, but Saxum seemed to handle it just fine.  The wines, do, however, seem to be drinking a little earlier than most vintages.  The 2011 Saxum's are ready to drink but no hurry on any of them.  This one has at least another decade but it probably won't get better.  That is fine because it is outstanding.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, smoke, black cherries, red currants and slight bacon fat.  On the palate, there is nice black raspberry fruit with some black cherries over some pepper and charred earth.  A nice backbone of a

2016 Rivers-Marie Chardonnay B. Thieriot Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

Rivers Marie is more known for their Pinot's and Cab's but they make a tremendous Chardonnay as well.  It does have some oak showing but its use is deft and all but the most oakaphobes among us should LOVE this wine.  The 2016 is still a bit young but is drinking very well.  These wines seem to age pretty well, but the truth is, i rarely am disciplined enough to let mine age.  Yellow gold in color.  The nose has lemons, vanilla and slight sawdust.  On the palate, this is like a slightly sweet/sour lemon candy with a touch of vanilla.  Great acidity.  Long finish.  This particular bottle was

2018 Château Minuty Côtes de Provence M, France, Provence, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$21.00USD

I don't know where you live, but here on the shores of Lake Erie, its been a wet, cool spring.  That might be good for the grapevines, but its put a bit of a damper on drinking outside.  But, it looks like we finally made it.  Time to open up some Rose!  This is a very attractively packaged rose from Provence.  A blend of  Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah. It is quite pale pale salmon pink in color, clear and bright.  On the nose, this has lots of fresh strawberries, slight hint of orange peel and and a nice minerality.  On the palate, this has a bigger texture than it light color might lead o

2005 Château La Confession, France, Bordeaux, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

Time has been great for this bottle.  At age 14, it is a stunning bottle of Bordeaux.  Probably at or close to peak but with years left.  Purple/ruby in color.  The nose is fresh with cherries, cigar box, slight earthy funk and slight spice.  On the palate, this has complex layers of cherries, black raspberries, and tobacco.  Great balance.  Long finish.  This drinks well on its own because of the complexity but really shines at the dinner table with meat and roasted dishes or stews.  This is a great example of buying affordable Bordeaux in great vintages and letting them age.  It can still

2014 Torrin The Banshee, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$70.00USD

Another stunning wine from Torrin.  Still a bit young but starting to show some development especially with a few hours in a decanter.  This is 50% Syrah, 26% Mourvèdre and 24% Grenache.  Inky purple in color.  The nose is great with a  meatiness reminiscent of the northern Rhone but vibrant fruit that says California sunshine.  There is also some black pepper, plums and slight floral notes.  On the palate, this has a great texture.  Black raspberry fruit intertwines with black pepper over a smoke and earth base.  It is pretty big right now with firm tannins.  This should continue to develo

2013 Donelan Cuvée Moriah, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$55.00USD

This is a mostly Grenache wine (87%) with the rest Syrah from Dry Stack Vineyard.  It is a delicious and charming wine that is drinking well right now and for the next five years or so.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has black raspberries, slight saw dust, black pepper and slight sour cherries.  On the palate, this is soft with a nice complexity.  Good acidity.  Black raspberry fruit and a bit of oak.  Light tannins.  Nice finish.  This drinks easy but has enough depth to get your attention.  It works well on its own or with medium or hearty fare.  

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