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2016 Cantine Briziarelli Montefalco Montefalco Rosso, Italy, Umbria, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+

This is a blend of Sangiovese 60%, Merlot 30%, Sagrantino 10%.  It was purchased in Italy and brought back by friends.  This is one of those simple wines that probably tastes better young and certainly when consumed on vacation.  That said, it was delightful in a local Italian restaurant with some simple pasta dishes.  This vintage doesn't seem available in the US, but later vintages retail for around $16.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has cherries, roasted herbs and a bit of chocolate.  Just guessing, but this likely sees no oak.  On the palate, this has nice acidity.  The cherries come t

2015 Domaine de Bellivière Jasnières Premices, France, Loire, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$27.00USD

I brought this to dinner with a couple that usually take a small pour of my whites and move quickly on.  Not this time.  They both went back for seconds, which is of course, the best compliment to the wine.  Really in a good place, but it is Chenin Blanc, so it has a long life ahead of it.  Light golden in color.  The nose has a lovely salinity along with some apricots and orange peel.  Also a slight metallic minerality (in a good way).  On the palate, be forewarned, this is sweet.  Probably a bit more than off dry.  But it is lovely and deft and light on its feet.  The orange peel comes th

2008 Château Haut-Bailly, France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Leognan, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$100.00USD

This is certainly one of the stars of its region.  While not in the category of Haut Brion, neither is the pricing.  Of course, it is not inexpensive either.  This bottle was purchased on release.  It was allowed to breathe for an hour and then consumed over the next few.  Still on the young side, it offers up plenty of enjoyment right now.  If you have a few, go ahead.  If you just have one or two, then it's a hold.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, black cherries, some cedar, spice and a bit of minerality.  On the palate, light tannins.  Tight layers that unwind in the glass of cass

2016 Foradori Vigneti delle Dolomiti Teroldego IGT, Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige, Eine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$21.00USD

Made from the Teroldego grape, this is the basic wine from this wonderful producer.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries, lots of minerality and a touch of salinity.  On the palate, there are firm tannins on this.  Lots of black cherries and some cherries.  An underlying minerality.  This is drinking nicely now, but surely will improve as it integrates over the next five years.  Nice acidity.  This begs for food right now.  Pasta in a cream sauce is a great choice.  

2010 La Velona Brunello di Montalcino, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

This is a very interesting take on Brunello.  It is big in a modern style sense but also more about minerality than fruit.  In any event, it is quite good and just starting to hit maturity.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has cherries, iron, minerals and slight tea leaves.  On the palate, this has light tannins.  Nice cherry fruit with underlying minerality.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  This will work great with traditional Tuscan foods but any fowl or pork dish should also work well.  If drinking now, let it breathe for a few hours if you can.  This may improve for a couple of years and wi

2007 Isole e Olena Cepparello Toscana IGT, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$90.00USD

If you own any of this, open a bottle.  It is drinking quite well and this bottle anyway, seemingly at peak.  100% Sangiovese.  Purple in color with ruby swirls and ruby at the rim.  The nose is great.  Mature, deep and intoxicating.  Aromas of cherries, forest floor, tea leaves, leather and a hint of menthol tobacco.  On the palate there are cherries and plums layered with tobacco and earthy forest floor.  Great balance with the acidity.  Just the slightest bit of tannin left.  Nice finish.  This in contemplative when drinking but will be even better with some pasta.  It certainly has a de

1988 Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer Rangen de Thann Clos St. Urbain Vendange Tardive, France, Alsace, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1988
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

The evening wasn't quite done and this fit the bill for a little something sweet to finish the night.  From a 375ml bottle.  Deep golden/orange in color.  The nose is pretty with lychees, oranges and slight simple syrup.  Also a nice underlying minerality.  On the palate, this is slightly viscous.  Much fresher than a bottle a couple of years ago.  Lychees, apricots with a bit of sweetness.  A nice bit of acidity to balance things out.  Long finish that was clean and without bitterness.  Just delicious and interesting to sip on its own, it would work with a slightly sweet dessert.  

2011 Saxum Terry Hoage Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$125.00USD

The 2011 Saxums are drinking beautifully right now.  It was a difficult vintage but Justin Smith and Saxum excelled.  The wines are a bit more ready than most vintages, but that's fine.  Pop and pour. 51% Grenache and 49% Syrah.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, dark chocolate, black pepper and roasted herbs.  With air more chocolate comes out along with a bit or roasted meats.  On the palate, this has a lovely juicy yet muscular texture.  Lots of black raspberry fruit, some char and a bit of earthiness and black pepper.  Nice finish.  This is a big wine and will need

2010 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$200.00USD

This is still quite young and patience will be rewarded.  That said, if you have a few or like them young, then this is great now too.  This bottle was decanted for four hours prior to drinking.  Inky purple in color.  The nose is black raspberries, charred wood, pepper, spice but also a lovely little lavender.  On the palate, this is big.  Brooding but still shows black raspberries, blueberries, black pepper and slight charred earth.  Medium tannins.  A nice streak of acidity.  Long finish.  This wine begs for food.  Cassoulet, steak or roasted vegetables would be great.  Probably another

2006 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2006
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$200.00USD

Shafer Hillside Select is one of the great wines in Napa and the world.  It is priced accordingly, but every once in a while, it is worth splurging on a bottle with friends.  This bottle was decanted for sediment (there was very little) and allowed to breathe in the cellar for four hours prior to consuming.  A magnificent showing for this wine from admittedly, not one of their best vintages.  Purple in color with some ruby hues to it.  The nose is wonderful with cassis, slight pencil lead, a bit of coffee grounds and a slight salinity.  On the palate, lots of cassis.  Deep with layers of gr

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