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2016 Once & Future Wine Zinfandel Frank's Block Teldeschi Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Dry Creek Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$48.00USD

So, I am in Chicago on vacation and stop by a local wine store.  This is on sale and having never tried it, bought a bottle.  Good move as this is a really nice Zin.  While it seems like it will age and get more claret like, it was delicious and accessible now.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has black cherries, some bramble, a bit of dark chocolate and cherries.  On the palate, this has a nice texture.

2011 Amavi Cellars Syrah, USA, Washington, Walla Walla, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
84
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$28.00USD

This is a Syrah from Washington state.  I am not up on my Washington vintages but I don't recall 2011 as being special.  Hopefully, this wine shows better in better vintages.  Purple in color.  The nose has some generic black fruit.  On the palate, there is some boysenberry.  Not much depth.  A bit bitter on the finish.  It seems like it might be a bit past its prime.  If you have any, hopefully it shows a bit better.  

2004 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2004
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

This was possibly the oldest EdB I have had and it was great.  Showing a bit of age but certainly not over the top.  Pop and pour, it improved on opening and then held constant for the evening.  Purple in color, some bricking at the rim.  The nose has cherries, some black cherries and baking spices.  On the palate, this has a nice texture.  Still lively but balanced acidity.  Cherries with a bit of earthiness and the baking spice finishes the palate.  I doubt it gets better from here but it certainly seems like it would have at least five more years before a slow decline.  This will go grea

2014 Andremily Mourvedre, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$140.00USD

I love the Andremily Syrah, but this was my first time trying the Mourvedre.  It was sensational.  It does contain 14% Syrah.  Inky purple in color.  The nose is great with grilled meats and slightly gamey meats (a good thing) along with black pepper, lavender and spice.  On the palate, this has a lush wonderful texture.  Plenty of acidity behind the fruit.  Very primary today.  Consumed over a few days, there really wasn't much difference.  Lots of black raspberry fruit with some black cherries and an underlying earthiness.  This will certainly take at least five and closer to ten years to

NV Calafè Kami Brut Nature, Italy, Campania, Greco di Tufo DOCG, Wine Review

Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$28.00USD

This is absolutely the best sparkling Greco di Tufo I have ever had.  It is also the only one.  Very interesting wine.  Made in the Metodo Classico or the traditional way that Champagne is made.  A fun wine for sure but also a very nice sparkling wine.  Greco di Tufo is the area making white wine from the Greco grape.  Popping the cork, the wine is white/green/gold in color.  There is a nice mousse with small-ish bubbles.  On the nose, there is some nice minerality along with a slight lemon-lime quality.  Those flavors carry thru to the palate along with a salinity.  This is broader and jus

2017 Domaine de la Côte Sainte-Epine St. Joseph Vieilles Vignes, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

These are great values in Northern Rhone Syrah.  Fass Selections is their importer and distributor in the US.  For those looking for some different wines, sign up for their daily e-mail blasts of wines for direct sale.  While this will improve a bit with cellaring, it drinks well now, especially with a bit of air.  Purple in color, ruby swirls.  The nose is nice with black raspberries, roasted herbs and slight black pepper.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, the fruit is a bit lighter but still in the black raspberry vein.  An underlying minerality with some char.  Good acidity.  Nice finish. 

2004 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2004
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

One of the longer living CdP's.  However, 2004 is an ok, not great vintage at this time.  The result?  At age 15 this is at peak.  It should be here for at least five and likely ten more years.  Medium ruby in color.  The nose has cherries, slight floral notes, garrique and slight earthy funk.  On the palate, this has nice depth.  Layers of cherry liqueur unwind in the glass over a funky earthiness.  Light dry tannins especially on the finish.  This works well with stews and roast.  Everything you want in a traditional CdP.  

2006 Domaine René Leclerc Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Champeaux, France, Burgundy, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2006
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

About ten years ago, a west coast retailer dumped these on the market.  And, I mean dumped.  About $15 a bottle.  Never knew why but bought some anyway as did lots of others.  It seems that has tainted the perception of this wine as every time people open one, the story is told and the comments factor in the price.  Frankly, that does this wine a dis-service.  At age 13, from a solid vintage, this wine is drinking quite well and appears to be at peak.  Pale ruby in color.  The nose is earthy, slightly dishwater with good fresh cherries as well.  On the palate, this is clean with cherries, m

2005 Gérard Raphet Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Lavaux St. Jacques, France, Burgundy, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$130.00USD

Well, this was one of the better values I have had in Burgundy in a while.  It was $70 on release with current vintages retailing for $110 or so.  Pop and pour, this seems to be at peak or just getting there.  It improved in the first thirty minutes and then held until the bottle was empty.  Light ruby in color.  A bit pale.  The nose is strong though with cherries and a slight earthy funk.  Maybe just a bit of spice.  On the palate, this has nice layering of fruit (cherries) and earth.  Good balance.  Persistent finish.  It went very well with food.  Delicious but also contemplative.  

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