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2016 Château Grand Mayne, France, Bordeaux, St. Emilion, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$55.00USD

Another wine that has been consistently over performing expectations for a while now.  In a group blind tasting, this finished first, and although I did not have it that high, it is a great wine that will age well.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim, opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries, mint and slight bell pepper (just a hint).  Medium bodied with medium weight tannins.  This has ripe/sweet fruit on the palate.  Cherries and black cherries.  A more moderate finish.  This continued to improve in the glass all evening.  It is drinking well on its own but would be better with some

2017 Château Branaire-Ducru, France, Bordeaux, St. Julien, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$65.00USD

Although this is highly rated and not inexpensive, this continues to be one of the most under rated wines from Bordeaux for my tastes.  It is classic left bank and affordable and will age quite well.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim, opaque and bright.  On the nose, this is dusty with cigar box, cassis and cherries.  Full bodied.  A nice juicy/glycerin mouthfeel.  Very plush on the mid-palate and then a long finish.  Lots of cassis and black cherry fruit with underlying clean earthiness.  This should continue to improve for five to ten more years and srink for another ten to fifteen after

2016 Château Croix Mouton (Jean-Philippe Janoueix), France, Bordeaux Superieur, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$17.00USD

This was tasted completely blind and did quite well although it was one of the most inexpensive bottles on the table.  This label is perennially among the best values in Bordeaux.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  Opaque and bright.  The nose is very nice and classic.  Black cherries with cedar.  Clean.  On the palate, this has medium body.  Tart, black cherry fruit.  Light tannins.  Solid finish.  This is drinking well now and won't get better.  That said, it should provide great drinking for at least five to seven more years and likely more.  

2017 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Le Petit Blanc, France, Bordeaux, Pessac-Leognan, Wine Reviewc

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

This was consumed against a 2016 La Carte de Haut Brion Blanc and the crowd seemed split.  Although these are very similar wines on paper, they were quite different in the glass and everyone seemed to have a clear favorite.  An 80/20 split of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.  This is a rounder, softer wine with a bigger profile.  It is light golden in color.  The nose has plenty of vanilla with some lemon creme and a slight floral quality.  On the palate, this is soft with tart red apples and some peach.  A bit of minerality.  Nice finish.  This is drinking well now although I don't know that

2016 La Clarté de Haut-Brion Blanc, USA, France, Bordeaux, Pessac-Léognan, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$85.00USD

What an outstanding wine.  This is the second wine of Haut Brion Blanc.  My first time trying this.  it is a blend of 76.3% Sémillon and 23.7% Sauvignon Blanc.  It has a silvery/pale yellow/gold color to it.  Very pretty nose with lemons, chervil and minerals.  On the palate, the lemons come thru along with some vanilla and minerality.  Very crisp with nice acidity.  Pin point focus.  Of course this is very young, but it is delicious.  On a warm summer evening, this goes down very easily.  This is expensive and as good as this is now, it should improve.  I would cellar for three to five yea

2016 Refugio Ranch Petite Sirah, USA, California, Santa Ynez Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$38.00USD

Petite Sirah is a very interesting grape.  Some wines are made to be consumed young but most need a little to a long time.  This one is not quite there but almost.  It is a grape that might be better suited to blending although its fans are strong (of which I am one).  The flavors are deep and intense but not boisterous.  This one is deep purple in color.  The nose has boysenberries, slight plums, dark chocolate and tarragon.  With air, a bit of black pepper.  On the palate, this is medium bodied.  The boysenberries and plums come thru with an underlying gravelly note.  Nice balance.  It re

2017 Strappelli Soprano Colli Aprutini IGT, Italy, Abruzzo, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+

This is a crisp white made from organically grown Pecorino grapes.  Light pale gold in color, but bright.  The nose is crisp with a nice salinity.  Also, red apples and a bit of ginger.  On the palate, this has a lovely underlying minerality with the acidity carrying thru.  There is some apple fruit as well.  Nice mouthfeel.  Long finish.  This will go well with sea food and vegetarian dishes.  It also will make nice summertime drinking.  Drink up in the next year or so.

2019 Bonterra Vineyards Rosé, USA, California, Mendocino, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$16.00USD

Bonterra uses organically grown grapes to make their wines.  The wines are very good to great and priced reasonably.  Their Rosé is always a favorite.  As Memorial Day approaches, this year will be a bit different with Social Distancing still appropriate.  Finally, however, we had a nice weather day, and it was a great time to try the latest vintage.  The wine is screw topped which is a great thing.  This vine is mostly Grenache.  It will keep the wine fresher.  It has a very pretty color.  Sort of a deep, ruby/pink in color.  Clear and bright.  Upon opening, notes of Rhubarb with some cher

2015 Famiglia Pasqua Amarone della Valpolicella, Italy, Veneto, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

This is a very nice Amarone that is not crazy expensive if one shops around.  It is a step up from their "Pasqua" bottling.  This is a blend of 65% Corvina, 25% Rondinella, 5% Corvinone, and 5% Negrara.  It has a true Amarone quality about it.  Deep ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose has cherries, spice, slight dark chocolate and a hint of vanilla.  Full bodied.  This wine is dry but with a mouthfeel that is slightly viscous and seems like it would be sweet.  Very interesting.  on the palate, cherries with underlying earthiness and slight tobacco notes.  A nice backbone of ac

2017 B.R. Cohn Cabernet Sauvignon Silver Label North Coast, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$19.00USD

This is a nice value in under $20 California Cabernet.  A blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has black cherries, some cassis, a bit of spice and slight herbal note.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, the black cherries dominate with light tannins.  This drinks easy right now on its own and will work well with burgers and grilled foods.  This won't get better but should last, if well stored, for another four to six years.  

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