Recent articles

2005 Charles Joguet Chinon Franc de Pied Les Varennes du Grand Clos, France, Loire Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

From one of the top red producers in the Loire Valley.  2005 was a strong vintage and allowed the Cabernet Franc to get ripe.  This was a great showing for this wine.  It was identifiable as the Loire with everything good about it.  Deep ruby in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is great.  Earthy, slight barnyard, cherries, slight black cherries and an interesting clove note.  With air, a fresh tobacco note comes out.  On the palate, this is soft.  A nicely layered and complex texture.  Layers of cherries, slight black cherries, fresh hay and slight earthiness.  There are still lig

2012 Domaine Michel Chevre Saumur Blanc Clos de l'Ecotard, France, Loire Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

This is a Chenin Blanc from the central part of the Loire Valley.  Medium "olde" gold in color  with just a touch of copper.  The nose is very nice with lots of minerals, a bit of salinity and some orange peel.  On the palate, this is dry.  Nice citrus with some orange pith and underlying minerality.  Slightly tart on the finish.  A lovely, slightly oily texture.  Chenin ages very well and this is still drinking well.

2010 Rivers-Marie Cabernet Sauvignon Panek Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, St. Helena, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$90.00USD

Nice to revisit this one.  It's been a few years.  This is drinking great although it still is probably not at peak.  Deep ruby in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is deep and very nice with cassis, smoke, slight cedar.  Very concentrated, it opens in the glass.  Likewise, the palate is very concentrated.  Cassis with slight earthiness and char.  Long finish.  This still has some lighter tannins.  This will drink well for at least another decade and probably two.  It drinks well on its own but will work well with roasted meats or vegetables.  

2015 Rhys Chardonnay Bearwallow Vineyard, USA, California, Anderson Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

This is from a northern California.  While I really enjoy the Rhys Chardonnay's, this is not as exuberant the ones from Santa Cruz.  Still, it is excellent.  Golden green in color.  The nose has vanilla, slight grapefruit and slight pineapple.  On the palate, this has a very nice texture.  Slightly viscous.  Nice underlying minerality.  The vanilla comes thru without being too overt.  Nice fruit.  This is drinking well now.  I don't think it will get better but should remain at this level for another five to seven years.  It drinks well on its own.  This will go well with lighter foods such

2011 Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Spätlese, Germany, Nahe, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

Great showing for this wine.  Still youthful but drinking nicely.  Medium golden in color.  The nose is clean (no diesel) with minerality/wet rocks and some pineapple.  On the palate, this is more about minerals but there is a bitters quality as well.  And the pineapple comes through too.  This is sweet but not overtly.  Well balanced by the acidity.  Long finish.  This will go with a lot of foods and also drink well on its own.  It went great with a spinach salad.  It should continue to mature for the next five to ten years and be good for ten to fifteen more.  

2017 Carlisle Zinfandel Papera Ranch, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

This is my favorite wine from all of the Carlisle offerings.  And, it seems that Mike Officer really seems to excel in "off" vintages such as 2011 or 2017.  While still very young, this is a beautiful wine.  Deep purple in color, a thin ruby rim.  The nose has black cherries, plums, slight cedar/bramble and just a hint of roasted herbs.  On the palate, the texture is the thing.  Almost seamless.  Of course, it is also delicious, if still young.  Firmer tannins for a Zin.  It takes about an hour or two to open.  This went great with some homemade pizza.  It should continue to improve for the

2010 Le Gode Brunello di Montalcino, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

Opened this with some pasta at home during the Covid 19 Quarantine to enjoy with the family.  Pop and pour and consumed over 4 hours.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose is nice with cherries, sour cherries, wet tea leaves and baking spices.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, this is a bit modern in style and full bodied.  Lots of red fruits, mostly cherries with some underlying charred forest floor.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  This worked well with the food and on its own after dinner.  It is still on the youthful side with some tannins.  Drink now and for the next ten years.  

2018 Sineann Zinfandel Old Vine, USA, Oregon, Columbia Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$35.00USD

Always one of my favorite Zin's, in part for its uniqueness, it was wonderful concentration.  Made from vines that getting close to 100 years old.  This vineyard had been abandoned and then resurrected in the 1980's.  Style wise it is middle of the road for Zin.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has cherries, black cherries, baking spices and just a bit of char.  On the palate, this is full bodied.  At 14.8% Alc, this is not super high for a Zin.  Lots of cherry and some charred cherry fruit.  Very concentrated.  Lighter tannins.  Nice finish.  This drinks well young but does age nice with goo

2016 Green & Red Vineyards Zinfandel Chiles Canyon Vineyards, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$24.00USD

This is a reasonably priced Napa Zin that is fairly available.  Not a big wine at all.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  Mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has some bramble and some cherries.  On the palate, this is medium bodied with cherries and bitter cherries.  No tannins to speak of.  Easy drinking.  A nice wine with a burger or pizza.  Probably best drunk in the next few years.  

2011 Saxum Heart Stone Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$95.00USD

During this period of "Stay Home", it helps to every once in a while open something really good.  Even during the middle of the week (to the extent I can keep track of what day it is).  The 2011 Saxum's are drinking beautifully.  That vintage seems to be maturing a bit faster than most.  This is a blend of 58% Syran, 27% Grenache and 5% Mourvedre.  inky purple in color with a thin magenta line at the rim.  The nose is great with black raspberries, black cherries, roasted meats, dried floral notes and slight chocolate.  On the palate, this has a lovely texture.  Rich but not overblown.  Smoo

Pages