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NV Toshkentvino Kombinati Orient Stone Kagor, Uzbekistan

Score: 
86
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$12.00USD

Kagor is a fortified dessert wine made from cabernet sauvignon, saperavi and other grapes.  Usually fouund on-near the Black Sea coast of the former Russian Empire, primarily in Moldova and Crimea, though this one comes from Uzbekistan.  The name is a Russian version of Cahors from Southwest France.  Peter the Great was a fan of Cahors wines and started importing them in bulk. The Russian clergy, swayed by the deep color (Christ's blood), adopted Cahors for sacraments in 1733.

2019 Strekov 1075 Viola, Slovakia,

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
70
Grade: 
C-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

This wine is ok-ish.  It is another "natural" wine that could have been much better with a little more "intervention".  I am all for organic and sustainable but when the "natural" overrides the quality, there is an issue.  Especially at $30 a bottle.  Thei is a blend of 50% Alibernet, 25% St. Laurent, and 25% Blauer Portugieser.

2018 Gitana Winery Rară Neagră, Moldova, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$15.00USD

Gitana means Gypsy.  Made from the Rară Neagră grape, this  is garnet in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is earthy and dusty with black and red raspberries and a hint of spice.  On the palate, nice black raspberries.  Lots of depth.  Black cherries on the long finish.  This is drinking well now.  Very unique compared to the same old, same old grapes.  Drink over the next five to seven years (maybe more).  This ould be a nice match with roasted fowl or pork dishes.  A really nice value!

2017 Purcari Negru de Purcari, Moldova, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

This is Moldova's most famous wine.  It was apparently Quenn Victoria's favorite and Queen Elizabeth gets a case every year.  Who knew?  If served blind, I would likely guess Bordeaux 5th growth or perhaps a Sonoma Cab (Beringer Knight's Valley Reserve?).  Not to slight Modova as it would never enter my guessing knowledge.  If there was a complaint that in a tasting of Moldovan wines, it is not exotic or unusual which is a bit un fair.  It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon 70%, Saperavi 25%, Rara Neagra 5%.  It spends 18 months in French oak barrels.  Inky purple in color, ruby at the rim, o

2016 Gitana Winery Lupi Rezerva, Moldova, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$26.00USD

Lupi mean wolves.  A very nice showing for this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Saperavi that was aged for a period of 10-12 months in 225l barrels and aged for at least 2 years in oak barrels from Krasnodar (Russia).  Purple in color, garnet at the rim.  The nose has black cherries with a hint of smoked tobacco ash.  Very interesting.  With air a bit of black coffee.  Medium to full bodies.  On the palate, black raspberries, cherries, a bit of dried currants and slight earthiness.  Strong backbone of acidity.  Long finish.  A really interesting wine with depth and complexity.  Tast

2013 Vinaria din Vale Fetească Albă, Moldova, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$17.00USD

This white wine seemed to be a love it or hate it wine when tried amongst a small group of tasters.  Made from the Fetească Albă grape. This is 8 years old.  The label carried a Decanter Awards Silver Medal sticker from 2014.   Deep golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose is more about minerals at this point with sea air and just a touch of cinnamon.  Light to medium bodied.  On the palate, slightly sour orange marmalade with just a hint of diesel.  Nice acidity.  The salinity comes back on the long finish.  This probably needs to be consumed sooner than later.  It would be nice to try

2018 Suvorov-Vin Viorica Kazayak, Moldova, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$16.00USD

This is a white wine made in Moldova from the Viorica grape and vinified in stainless steel.  Light yellow gold in color, clear and bright.  The nose is very floral with a touch of lime peel.  Light to Medium bodied.  Oily texture.  The floral quality continues to the palate.  There is also a tart citrus note.  Long finish.  The wine has a familiar quality while at the same time being just a bit different.  I would be happy to drink this on a nice summer day.  Drink over the next couple years as floral notes usually fade (my first Viorica grape so just a guess).  It drinks nicely on its own

2012 Alain Brumont Madiran Torus, France,

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

This is a blend of Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc from Madiran in the southwest of France.  Inky purple  in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries and slight black cherries with some spice and minerality.  Full bodied.  Deep.  Firm tannins.  Black raspberry fruit mostly but some boysenberry as well over a mineral base.  Clean.  A bit of char on the finish.  Delicious.  This feels like further cellaring would be helpful but with some air, it drinks well.  Drink over the next ten years.  It would work with pork chops but also grilled meats and veggies.  

2018 Simi Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$35.00USD

This is a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec, and 1% Petite Sirah.  It is a nice value in California Cabernet.  Purple in color with ruby swirls.  Mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is dusty with cassis and a bit of coffee.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, black cherries, some cherry pie filling, but also some tart cherries.  With air, some dark chocolate and spices.  There is oak on this but that will integrate with time.  Nice finish.  This drinks great on its own and will work with bolder foods.  As it ages, it will be more

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