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2018 de Négoce Cabernet Sauvignon OG N.145, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+

This is the new venture from Cameron Hughes.  He buys lots of juice that wineries can't or don't want to try to sell, and repackages the juice and sells at a steep discount.  One can guess where the grapes are from, but it is never announced.  The wines are sold thru a daily e-mail but they recently added a store on their site for unsold wines.  I am skeptical about buying wine that is advertised as "really being X" or "declassified X" but these wines are not expensive and I thought I would give it a go.  This is one of their higher priced wines at about $21 delivered.  Overall, I am happy

2018 Château de L'Hoste Blanc Classique, France, Bordeaux, Entre Deux Mers, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$17.00USD

A nice white from Bordeaux.  A blend of Sémillon 20%,  Sauvignon Blanc 40%, Sauvignon Gris 30%, and Muscadelle 10%.  Medium golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose has a nice lemon streak with a Schist rock quality to it.  On the palate, this has a slightly oily texture.  Lemon fruit although there is a bit of a bitter quality especially on the finish.  Also a touch of lemon candy.  Drinking well now, but this probably should be consumed in the next year or so.  Nice on its own, it will work with lighter foods.  

2018 Emile Beyer Pinot Gris Tradition. France, Alsace, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$18.00USD

Another producer I have not had before (I need to get out more again).  Light golden in color, clear and bright.  None of the pinkish hues normally associated with Pinot Gris.  The nose is interesting with fresh kumquat (yes, you read that right) and a slight waxy/fleshy note.  On the palate, this is slightly viscous.  Notes of oranges with decent acidity.  It finishes with a touch of sweetness.  This is pleasant and easy to drink although it doesn't come off as a typical Pinot Gris.  Drink over the next few years.  It drinks great on its own and will work with lighter foods.  A nice wine f

2018 Mélanie Pfister Riesling Berg, France, Alsace, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$23.00USD

A new winery for me.  Light golden in color with some silvery hues, clear and bright.  The nose is tight (cold) with air some minerality and light lemons come thru.  It has a viscous texture.  On the palate, there is some sweetness to it (no idea what the residual sugar level is) but it is easily balanced by the bracing acidity.  13% ABV.  Plenty of lemon fruit with slight apples.  The lemony finish goes on forever.  This is really interesting and it would be hard to guess where it is from as it is quite unique.  It is drinking great now and will no doubt mature and morph but should drink w

2008 Thomas Pinot Noir Dundee Hills, USA, Oregon, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A

From the idiosyncratic wine maker John Thomas.  While 2008 is considered a great vintage in the Willamette Valley, it was ripe and not really up John's wheelhouse, yet, he adapted and made a wine consistent with his style and taking what the vintage offered.  Ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose is nice with cherries, slight Kirsch and just a hint of spice.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, big cherry fruit with underlying spice.  13.5% abv.  There are also firm tannins, not something you get much with Pinot Noir.  It was be interesting to let the tannins resolve and there is pl

2010 Maison Ilan Charmes-Chambertin Aux Charmes Hautes, France, Burgundy, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$155.00USD

There is a lot of controversy about this American producer.  I won't go into the here except to say, all the wines I personally purchased and opened so far have been at or above expectations.  Pop and pour.  Light ruby in color, slightly hazy which is not uncommon in Burgundies.  The nose is very nice.  Earthy with slight mushrooms, cherries, slight cranberry notes and just a bit of funk.  Medium bodied with tart acidity (in a good way).  On the palate, nice cherry fruit with underlying earthiness and slight mushrooms.  Still on the youthful side of full maturity.  That said at age eleven,

2018 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

A friend of mine stopped by with a bottle.  My first reaction was that it was too young, so I was going to open an older bottle and then accidently opened this.  Glad I did.  While this will probably shut down, it was great.  Deep garnet in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose is  clean with black cherry fruit along with roasted meats, smoke/char and a slight floral note.  Full bodied.  On the pallet, this is drinking great.  Delicious.  Black raspberry fruit over char.  Clean (how long has it been since this was an issue at Beaucastel?).  Nice finish.  Obviously young with silky tanni

2017 Realm Cellars The Bard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$130.00USD

I love Realm wines and this might be my favorite.  A blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Merlot.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, black cherries, slight chocolate and tobacco with some cedar.  This is a very accessible vintage for this wine.  Full bodied.  On the palate, cassis and black cherries, with some forest floor notes.  Firm tannins.  Nice balance.  Long finish.  This drinks very Bordeaux-like for a Napa Cab.  It will still mature and like improve over the next ten to fifteen years and drink well for another ten to fifteen after that.  A nice wine

2018 Sine Qua Non Syrah Ziehharmonika, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
99
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$235.00USD

 This is a blend of 82% Syrah, 7% Mourvèdre, 6% Grenache, and 5% Petite Sirah.  Like many SQN wines, this weights in at 15.8% abv but there is no hint on the nose or palate.  Delicious wine.  Inky purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has black raspberries, white pepper, roasted meats and roasted herbs.  Full bodied with a lush but lively texture.  On the palate, this is surprisingly drinkable even at this young age.  Loads of black raspberries with underlying char and black pepper.  Deep.  Long finish.  Drinks great on its own but will work well with grilled, roasted or braised meats

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