Recent articles

2018 Hess Central Coast Pinot Noir, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$19.00USD

This is a value drive Pinot Noir from one of the longtime California wineries.  Ruby in color with slight purple swirls.  On the nose this has cherries, sour cherries, slight hay/earthiness to it.  On the palate, this is ripe, slightly sweet Pinot Noir.  Big cherry fruit.  A bit of underlying cola flavors.  A soft texture.  Light tannins.   Slight bitter note on the finish.

2013 Marchesi Gondi Chianti Rùfina Riserva Villa Bossi, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A

OK.  So when we did this tasting, we had six Chianti's.  I went thru the lineup.  Then we invited friends over and about ten more people tried the wines.  I revisit them that night, the next night and finish on day 3.  This was almost the unanimous wine of the night.  If it was labelled Brunello or even a Super Tuscan, i think the scores would have been higher.  Of course, there is always something that says the best Chianti's can't score that high.  I have never subscribed to that philosophy as producers like Felsina and Fontodi deserve higher scores.  Well add this one to the list.   A bl

2016 Marchesi Gondi Chianti Rùfina Riserva Pian dei Sorbi, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

This is a blend of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Colorino.  Purple with ruby swirls.  It is very tight on opening but with air opens to black cherry fruit.  The nose is easy and enjoyable.  On the palate, the black cherries come thru.  This seems ripe and has an almost cough syrup quality to the cherry fruit.  A bit of anise on the finish.  Firm tannins.  This is concentrated but seems more about fruit than a typical Chianti.  That proved to be a good thing in a tasting.  It will be interesting to see how this ages from here.  It seems like there is room to improve over the next few years.  It sho

2016 Pomona Chianti Classico Riserva, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

This is a 100% Sangiovese wine that utilizes certified organic grapes.  And, of course, 2016 is an excellent vintage for Chianti.  This wine is superb.  The cork was quite tight and took some effort to extract.  The wine is deep garnet in color, purple at the core.  Mostly opaque and dark.  On the nose this has big black cherry fruit, slight black licorice and just of touch of earl grey tea.  On the palate, this has a lush texture.  Plenty of black cherry fruit with cherries.  It is still somewhat tight and young.  Firm tannins.  Long finish with an interesting anise note.  This will need a

2011 Azienda Agricola Caparsa Chianti Classico Caparsino Riserva, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

This was quite good.  In general, 2011 is a good, not great vintage in Chianti, but this was very good.  It is a very classic Chianti for all of the right reasons.  Made from 100% Sangiovese grapes.  Medium/dark ruby in color.  Clear and bright.  The nose is very nice.  It is earthy with macerated cherries and fresh cherries along with a sweaty note.  Sort of a rustic Tuscan quality.  On the palate, this has bright cherries over a forest floor.  Very firm tannins.  Long finish.  It was tasted and about half consumed, then a neutral cork inserted and left over night on the counter.  Better o

2012 Fietri Chianti Classico Riserva, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

My first time trying his producer and I am impressed.  it is 100% Sangiovese with 13% abv.  Ruby in color, with just a hint of orange/brown.  The nose shows a very slight oxidation.  Not sure if that is age, style or the cork, but not enough to be an issue.  There is also a slight volatile acidity.  Again, not enough to be an issue.  In fact, the two together gives this wine an impression of being just a bit older than it is, but it is still drinking well.  Finally, the nose also has cherries and a warm, earthy forest quality to it.  On the palate, this has a very nice mouthfeel.  Medium ta

2019 The Hess Collection California Rose Wine, USA, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$12.00USD

This is the inaugural vintage for this wine.  It is a bright pink/watermelon color, clear and bright.  Very unique.  On the nose, this has light cherries with slight watermelon notes.  It is lean but not really light bodied.  Slightly sweet.  Flavors of apples and cherries and a slight bubble gum note.  Light tannins.  It finishes with an ever so slightly bitter note.  Overall, this is refreshing.  It has lots of little parts going on and will probably come together a bit more just in time for warmer weather.  Right now, it worked better with food, but as it comes together, it should drink

2019 The Hess Collection Pinot Gris Hess Select, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$12.00USD

This is a nice value for a very tasty California Pinot Gris.  Silvery gold in color with just a swish of green.  The nose is nice with almonds, minerals and pears.  On the palate,this is slightly viscous with an oily texture in a good way.  It starts crisp but rounds out.  Dry.  The palate has a nice minerality with almonds and slight pears.  It turns crisp/tart on the finish.  This drinks fine on its own, but really improves with food.  Lighter foods such as fruit salads, but also cheese and salty nuts worked great.  It's hard to find a wine of this quality for this price in California any

NV Faire La Fête Crémant de Limoux Brut, France, Wine Review

Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

This a sparkling wine from the southwest corner of France.  It is a blend of 70% Chardonnay, 20% Chenin Blanc and 10% Pinot Noir.  It is an excellent value in sparkling wine.  Silvery gold in color, clear and bright.  There is a fair amount of small to medium sized bubbles making up the mousse.  On opening, this is a very aromatic wine.  There is an initial wave of limes and lanolin followed by minerals and baked apples on the nose.  Good acidity.  The palate has a nice roundness with baked apples and slight cherry notes.  This has moderate depth with light tannins.  It finishes long.  Over

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