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2016 Realm Cellars The Bard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$140.00USD

What an amazing wine.  This is one of the more "affordable" Cabernet's from Realm.  It is still very expensive, but this is some of the best that Napa has to offer.  It is about 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot.   Purple in color, opaque and shining bright.  The nose is great with cassis, blueberries, cedar, spice and char.  Just a gorgeous texture.  Lush and velvety but with enough cut to not be cumbersome.  Plenty of cassis and blueberry fruit with underlying tobacco and chart.  Long finish.  This is still young but just delicious.  With time, this will show more complexity although

2014 Von Strasser Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Vineyard Diamond Mountain, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

A really nice showing for this wine and above my high expectations.  It is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Malbec, and 5% Petit Verdot.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, cedar, plums, graphite and char.  On the palate, this is full bodied with medium tannins.  Lots of cassis fruit intertwined with char and oak.  Good length on the finish.  This is still on the young side of mature but drinks like a classic Napa Cabernet.  That is great fruit with some oak and plenty of depth.  This should continue to mature for another seve to ten years and be good for ten to

2016 Tenute Pierazzuoli Chianti Montalbano Riserva, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
82
Grade: 
B-
Current Price: 
$24.00USD

2016 is such a great vintage for Chianti's so there was a lot of hope for this.  It is solid but there are a lot of better values in the market.  Ruby in color.  The nose has cherries and slight hay.  On the palate, this is light to medium bodied.  Strong acidity.  Some cherry fruit.  Simple.  It requires food and worked fine with some pasta.  It started to show some volatile acidity after a few hours.  Drink now.  

2014 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah North Coast, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

This is one of the great values in Syrah.  I drink these while waiting on the single vineyard wines to mature.  Unfortunately, that means I rarely get a chance to let this age past a couple years.  Somehow, this one lasted, so good for me!  Purple in color.  The nose is great with black raspberries, roasted meats, slight black olives and spice.  On the palate, this is medium to full bodied.  Nice black raspberry fruit with underlying char.  Some depth and complexity.  Light tannins.  Very fresh.  Nice finish.  Seems like it could easily go another seven to ten years.  A nice match for India

2012 Quinta do Crasto Douro Reserva Old Vines, Portugal, Douro, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

This is and has been a go to value in outstanding wine for a long time now.  The winery makes all different price ranges and this one is in the middle.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has black cherries, slight black olives, spice and a bit of earthiness.  On the palate, this is full bodied.  It still has light tannins with plenty of black cherry fruit.  Lovely texture.  Nice finish.  It is drinking well but can still probably improve a bit as it gets to peak.  Let's say three to five more years until peak and another ten to twelve of prime drinking after that.  It drinks well

2016 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+

What a great showing for this wine.  Gorgeous.  Purple in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries, black raspberries, char, bramble and baking spices.  Full bodied.  Lush and luxurious texture.  Lots of energy though.  It drinks (too) easily.  Delicious but also has a depth and complexity.  Lots of black cherries, black raspberries and black pepper on the palate.  Long finish.  This should continue to drink well for ten years at least but it will lose its vibrancy and be replaced with more complexity.  It would be a shame to miss it now.  It will work great with grille

2017 Gundlach Bundschu Tempranillo Estate Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

There are not a lot of Tempranillo's grown outside Spain and few in California, so it's always a pleasure to get to try one.  I suspect they have a small plot for this to experiment with and bottle it as a winery only release (just a guess).  It is 90% Tempranillo, 6% Malbec, and 1% Petit Verdot.  Ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose has cherries and baking spices with a bit of tea leaves and slight smoke.  On the palate, this is full bodied.  Bold cherry fruit with light tannins and underlying roasted herbs.  There is little acidity or depth making me wonder how this might age

2015 Gundlach Bundschu Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Sonoma Valley, Wine Review Valley

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$42.00USD

A very pretty, classically styled Sonoma Cabernet.  This is a blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec, and 2% Merlot.  Purple in color with some purple swirls.  The nose has cassis, black cherries, tobacco, slight bell pepper and spice.  On the palate, this is full bodied with medium tannins.  Cassis with a nice underlying earthiness/forest floor.  Good balance.  Ripe but not over blown by any means.  This should drink well for the next fifteen years as it develops and matures.  Drinking great on its own, this will work well with roasts or casseroles.  

2017 William Talty Zinfandel Filice Connolly Vineyards, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$42.00USD

I was expecting this to be a much bigger wine.  Perhaps it is the vintage as 2017 was a thinner vintage in much of Napa.  In any event, it is an excellent wine styled in more of a claret styled Zin.  As it is the first vintage I have had, I am curious if this is representative of other vintages.  Deep ruby in color with purple swirls.  The nose has red berries, some cedar and a ton of black pepper.  On the palate, the red fruit and the black pepper come thru.  Good acidity.  The drinks almost too easily.  Very good on its own, this would work with steaks of burgers too.  t seems like it sho

2015 Callaghan Vineyards Malvasia Bianca Amor Fati, USA, Arizona, Willcox, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+

This is a late harvest syled dessert wine from Arizona.  Light golden in color.  There is a lot of volatile acidity on the nose, but with air, some/most of it blows off.  There is some honey and white raisins on the nose. On the palate this is viscous.  Slightly sweet though not cloying.  It lacks some much needed acidity.  The honey comes thru to the palate, along with slight peach.  Shorter finish. It worked with a not too sweet carrot cake.  It should last for five to ten more years although the VA is a bit worrying.  

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