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2017 ZD Wines Grenache Rosa Lee, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
86
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

Wine is subjective.  A friend poured this for me and loved it.  I was less fond of it, so take this with a grain of salt.  Ruby in color.  The nose has craisins (dried cranberries) and dust.  On the palate, this is a bit sour with more craisins.  There is some heat.  Medium bodied.  Light tannins.  It seems like it should be consumed now though it might benefit with some air.  It might go with lighter foods.  This is a solid wine and certainly a unique take on Grenache.  

2013 Andremily Syrah No. 2, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$230.00USD

Another gorgeous showing for this Syrah.  It is still youthful although like many 2013's, they have turned the corner and are moving to adulthood.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, roasted meats, roasted herbs and black pepper.  This is deep with about 30 minutes of air.  Tons of fruit; black raspberries over a char finish.  Very concentrated.  Moderate tannins.  Long finish.  Delicious.  Very structured at this point, this may yet get a bit better!  Worth holding another few years though this wine is good for ten to fifteen more.  It will go well with roasted meats an

2010 Saxum James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
99
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$140.00USD

This is really in a great spot right now.  Drinking superbly.  Will it get better?  Perhaps, but absolutely worth opening a bottle right now.   A blend of 52% Grenache, 26% Mourvèdre and 22% Syrah.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is great with black raspberries, white pepper, black cherries, and slight roasted coffee beans.  On the palate, this is soft, gulpable but also deep and complex.  Black raspberries and plums intertwined with char, slight earth and roasted meats.  A long finish.  It is delicious and a show stopper.  No rush, this should easily do another ten to fifteen

2017 Dakota Shy Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$96.00USD

This is another Cab tasted at the winery.  It is 88% Cabernet Sauvignon with 12% Cabernet Franc.  Inky purple in color.  The nose is tight but with air shows some cassis, a bit of pencil lead and char.  On the palate, this is concentrated and tannic.  Quite young of course.  It has a wonderful texture.  With air, the cassis fruit comes out and a bit of black cherry.  Very deep but monolithic right now.  Give it seven to ten years to develop and unwind.  In the meanwhile, it is quite delicious, but needs about eight hours of air.  This should last another fifteen to twenty years or more.  It

2017 Dakota Shy Cabernet Sauvignon Ten, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$95.00USD

Tasted on a visit to the winery.  This is 5% Cabernet Franc and the rest is Cabernet Sauvignon.  It has an intense purple color, almost neon bright.  The nose is primary but quite good with cassis, slight black cherry and lumber.  On the palate, this has strong tannins.  It also has a very lively texture which I attribute to great balance, acidity and purity of fruit.  Lots of cassis with a nice underlying minerality.  This winery had been highly recommended to me but this was my first time trying the wines so it is a bit hard to evaluate growth and maturity.  Still, I would estimate that i

2016 Detert Family Vineyards Cabernet Franc East Block Oakville, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$177.00USD

During a recent visit to the Napa Valley, I had a chance to meet with Tom Garrett.  Tom is part of the Detert Family of wines who own a portion of the historic To Kalon vineyard.  The Detert's and the MacDonalds are cousins whose lineage goes back to a common owner of a parcel of the vineyard from the early 1950's.  The Detert's portion grows mostly Cabernet Franc although there is some Cabernet Sauvignon.  This particular bottling is their top Cabernet Franc and it is as good as any made anywhere.  Although still very young, this is a wine that has great concentration and will age graceful

2016 Schramsberg Vineyards Brut Rosé, USA, California, Calistoga, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

This is a sparkling wine from California.  Oddly enough, I tasted it while stopping for lunch in Napa at the Oakville Grocer.  A couple seated next to me had ordered a bottle for lunch but only finished two thirds of it, and offered us the rest.  Who am I to refuse such a generous invitation.  The wine itself was very good and indeed, better than I had expected.  It is a blend of 64% Pinot Noir and 36% Chardonnay grown.  It is a pale pink/orange color, clear and bright with a good amount of smaller bubbles.  The nose is nice with strawberries, raspberries and a touch of yeast.  On the palat

2017 MacDonald Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+

What a treat.  On a recent visit to Napa, we go to walk the vineyards with Alex MacDonald and learn so much about this venerated vineyard and hear about the "newer" winemaking at MacDonald.  And to top it off, we got to try the recently bottled 2017 Cabernet (not yet released).  The story is worth Googling , but the short version is that at the heart of the To Kalon Vineyard in Napa are some very old Cabernet Sauvignon vines.  They have been owned by the MacDonald family since 1954.  These have been used in the top Mondavi wines since before there was even a Mondavi Winery.  Due to some cop

2017 Walt Pinot Noir Clos Pepe, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Santa Rita Hills, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$75.00USD

Walt is the name that Hall, a Napa producer, releases a line of Pinot Noir.  This was my first time trying one that I recall.  It is a big fruit forward styled Pinot.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has black cherries, sour cherries and spice.  Also a slight bit of dark chocolate.  On the palate, there is a lot of fruit.  Noticeable alcohol but not hot.  Sweet black cherries.  Deep if still tight.  It seems to need about five to seven more years of cellaring an then should have 8 to 12 years after that.  There is certainly some upside potential in the score.  This will work well with Roasted

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