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2008 Igino Accordini Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Le Bessole, Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella,Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

Purple in color, ruby at  the rim.  The nose has cherries and spice.  With air some chocolate and slight craisin notes.  On the palate, this is ripe but not sweet.  Cherries and slight coffee notes.  Wide but not deep.  It is drinking well now but will certainly go for a while longer.  Seemed to be quite popular with those trying it.  It will work better with food but is nice on its own too.  Perhaps braised lamb?  

2005 Frédéric Magnien Morey St. Denis 1er Cru Clos Baulet, France, Burgundy, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

This was purchased on release and properly cellared.  Overall, the bottle took an hour or so to open up and then was drinking fine.  It never took that final step to being a top bottle, but it was outstanding nevertheless.  Light ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose has a slight earthy funk to it and cherries.  On the palate, this has a soft texture.  Elegant cherries with light tannins twisted around a bit of damp earthy farmyard.  Long finish.  This will go well with roasted fowl or braised beef dishes.  It probably doesn't get better than this but no hurry, it should be at t

2016 Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir Dutton Ranch, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$32.00USD

This is a medium bodied, very accessible Pinot Noit that seemed to be a crowd favorite.  It is ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose has cherries, raspberries and is a bit candied.  With air, a bit of sour cherries come thru.  This has a lot of ripe fruit.  Cherries and black cherries, raspberries all coat the palate.  This is easy drinking and enjoyable.  Not about complexity or contemplation.  Good finish.  This is probably better on its own but should work with roasted fowl.  It should be consumed in the next few years.  

2018 Treasure Hunter Wines Chardonnay Trophy Wife, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

Treasure Hunter is a winery that searches for declassified juice (I am not sure if they also buy grapes) from wineries and restaurants that have unsold barrels at a large discount.  They maintain the integrity  of the winery by not divulging their sources.  In some years, this can be better than others.  It all depends on whether there is a grape glut or scarceness, though it should be said, that these wines are for the most part of top quality for their respective price points.  Which brings us to this wine.  This is a very nice, bigger, RRV Chardonnay.  Golden in color with a slight coppe

2011 Mollydooker Enchanted Path, Australia, McLaren Vale, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

This is still one of the poster boys for big, fruity Aussie wines.  It can be a love it or hate it wine, but I find, as long as you know what to expect going in, this is a well made and delicious wine.  A blend of 71% Shiraz and 29% Cabernet.  Inky purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has black cherries, black pepper, slight dill (American oak?), and smoke.  On the palate, this is rich and full bodied.  Black raspberries, slight raisins with light tannins.  There is some alcohol/heat on the mid-palate and finish.  It is ripe and delicious and probably better on its own, but it trying

2009 Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Impériale, France, Rhone, Wine review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$85.00USD

This was tasted from a magnum that had been opened for a couple of hours.  Delicious and drinking great.  2009 has been an open and for the most part, accessible vintage since release, yet also an excellent vintage.  Made from 90% Grenache.  Deep ruby in color, purple at the core.  The nose has raspberries, spice, dust and a bit of an interesting pine note.  What a great texture it has.  On the palate, there are raspberries over a charred wood with just a hint of the pine.  It has some complexity as it unwinds in the glass.  A long finish.  This is not a brute wine and indeed, more elegant

2012 Peter Zemmer Lagrein Raut, Italy, Alto Adige - Südtirol, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$16.00USD

This is a relatively inexpensive red from northeast Italy.  That said, it is not  simple wine and needs to be cellared.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has black cherries with some smoke.  On the palate, this has a soft texture.  Black cherry fruit that turn slightly sour.  Firm tannins.  Nice finish.  This will need to be laid down for five to seven years if it is to reach its peak.  It can be drunk now but have some nice fatty foods to cut through the tannins.  If serving today, an eight hour decant is not too much.  Certainly, the score should improve with cellaring.  

NV G. H. Mumm Grand Cordon Brut Champagne , France, Wine Review

Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$35.00USD

Dosage is 8 grams per liter.  Silvery light gold in color.  A nice amount of smaller bubbles.  The nose has seltzer and gun powder.  On the palate, this is lively. Plenty of a (red) apples with a tart sourness that is very nice.  A reasonably long finish.  This is an affordable Champagne that is very user friendly.  It will work well on its own and with just about any foods but especially salty foods.  This should be consumed within the first few years of release.  There was no disgorgement date on this bottle so purchase from stores with good turnover.  

2017 Treana Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

This is a reasonably priced Cabernet.  I had not tried a vintage of this in a while.  It is still a solid wine and a great value.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has cassis, some cherries, a bit of dust and sandalwood.  On the palate, this is medium bodied.  It has ripe, slightly sweet fruit but enough structure to handle it.  Cassis and cherries.  Medium tannins.  Good balance.  Nice finish.  Right now, this is probably better on its own but with a little age, it will work well with roasts and other meat dishes.  It should be consumed in thee next five to seven years.  

NV Penfolds Grandfather Rare Tawny, Australia, South Australia, Wine Review

Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

This is one in a series of Tawny "Ports" made by Penfold's.  It has very attractive packaging although no longer in the wood box.  Made in a Solera style, the minimum blended age is 20 years old.  The Solera currently contains vintages from 1960 to 2004.  Mostly Shiraz, Cabernet, Grenache and Mourvedre but others as well.  Iced tea in color.  The nose is a bit oxidized (in a good way) with brown sugar, toffee and crème brulee.  On the palate, this is viscous.  Lots of caramel notes.  Some heat.  There is a nice depth to it.  Long finish.  This will work well on its own or with toffee/carame

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