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2017 Rivers-Marie Chardonnay Sonoma Coast, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

This is the base Chardonnay from one of the best producers of Chardonnay in California.  It is really classic California in style, yet everything is in proportion and works.  It is a great example of how good an oaked Chardonnay can be and not be over oaked.  The winery uses no new oak, yet the barrels leave and impression as does just a hint of butter on the nose.  Golden in color.  The nose is so pretty with peaches, crème brûlée, a bit of buttered popcorn, and lemon peel.  On the palate, this is crisp with peach, lemon and slight vanilla.  Medium to full bodied.  Good acidity.  Nice fini

2015 Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

 This is a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc.  This is a very nice value in Napa Cabernet.  They also make a Reserve which is a bit better but a lot more expensive.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose shows cassis, a bit of coffee, slight anise, and spice.  On the palate, this is soft but still has enough structure to hang the fruit on.  Good balance.  Cassis with an earthy/tobacco underneath.  Good finish.  This will work well with a wide variety of foods.  It may improve still but certainly should last another seven to ten years.   

2016 Hourglass HG III, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

This is a red blend that is 48% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the rest Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah.  It is a delicious wine that is drinking well but will likely improve with some cellar time.  Deep ruby in color with some purple at the core.  The nose shows black raspberries, cherries, dark chocolate, spice and cigar box.  On the palate, this is medium to full bodied.  Moderate tannins.  Lots of cherries, black cherries and also some plums over char and tobacco.  Nice finish.  This will work well with bigger foods and certainly a burger on the grill would be great.  Drin

2014 Meyer Family Cabernet Sauvignon Spitfire, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$55.00USD

This is a nice almost old school California Cabernet.  Thought there is plenty of fruit, I would not call it a fruit bomb.  More of a middle ground style of wine.  It is aged for two years in American oak, 50% new.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, cloves, and nutmeg.  On the palate, this has cassis over a dried wood quality.  Good acidity.  Medium to full bodied.  13.8% ABV.  Good finish.  This is still young but is drinking well.  It works a bit better with food though its fine on its own.  Think stews and casseroles.  It should continue to mture for five to seven m

2018 Ferrari-Carano Fumé Blanc Sonoma County, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$10.00USD

This is a very nice mass produced Sauvignon Blanc from California.  Consistent from vintage to vintage and always an excellent value.  Another of those wines that it's easy for wine geeks to dismiss but there is real quality here.  Light golden in color.  The nose shows peaches, melons, vanilla and spice.  On the palate, the peaches continue.  Nice full bodied texture.  A bit of oak showing as vanilla and spice.  Moderate acidity but enough to work with food.  Nice finish.  This wine drinks well on its own and worked well with lighter salads.  

2016 Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay Vintner's Reserve, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$10.00USD

This is the best selling Chardonnay in America and has been for 25 years.  Almost three million cases are produced annually.  While it's ubiquitous, some times wine geeks are too easy to dismiss it.  This is an excellent value in Chardonnay.  Light golden in color with specks of green.  The nose has vanilla, apples and a bit of honey.  On the palate, this is ever so slightly ripe/sweet.  No bitterness.  Easy to drink with apples and honey coming thru.  Clean.  Moderate acidity.  Moderate finish.  It worked well with a variety of garden and fruit salads and was certainly drinkable on it own.

2017 J. Lohr Chardonnay Arroyo Seco Monterey, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
86
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$10.00USD

An inexpensive Chardonnay that is a pretty good value for the money.  Light golden in color.  The nose offers up some melon and tropical fruit and just a touch of spice.  On the palate, this has a bit of crispness.  The melon carries thru.  Creamy texture.  Slightly bitter/woody on the finish.  Worked well with assorted salads.  Drink now.  

2017 Les Portes de Bordeaux Bordeaux Rosé, France, Bordeaux, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
85
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$8.00USD

This is a Trader Joe's wine made from Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.  It is an easy drinking rose that is easy on the budget.  Deep pink/orange in color.  The nose has some watermelons and strawberries.  Light bodied.  On the palate, a bit of clean strawberries.  Drank well enough on its own and worked with a variety of garden and fruit salads.  Drink up this summer.  

2015 Outpost Immigrant True Vineyard

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$150.00USD

This is a Bordeaux blend with 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot and 23% Cabernet Franc.  It is a bit more understated than the Cabernet from the True Vineyard.  Drinking well now, this improved with a bit of air and really needs a few more years in the cellar.  But it is fantastic right now.  People who prefer Bordeaux will probably prefer this to the Cab and visa-versa.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, black cherries, slight blueberries, milk chocolate, cigar box, vanilla and spice.  Yes, there is a lot going on.  On the palate, this has a wonderful texture.  Compl

2016 Teeter-Totter Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$55.00USD

This is a very nice value in Napa Cabs.  Of course, it is still an expensive wine, but that happens in Napa.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, sandalwood and other spices, and cigar box.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, this is big but not over the top.  Lots of cassis with underlying earthiness/tobacco.  It is delicious.  Still young, this should easily mature for the next decade and probably two.  Drinking quite well now though.  It will go well with roasted meats or veggies.  

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