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2014 Beta Cabernet Sauvignon Vare Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$189.00USD

My first time trying this winery and I am impressed.  I kept reading things like "old school" or "medium bodied" and I think those descriptions are missing the point.  First off, this is delicious!  Purple in color with ruby swirls.  The nose is great with a bit of air.  Cassis, slight clove, black cherries, just the slightest whiff of bell pepper and spice.  On the palate, this is in fact medium to full bodied.  Light tannins.  But, this is not Bordeaux or "Classic" Napa.  It has plenty of sunshine and ripeness.  Lots of energy.  A wonderful mouthfeel.  The fruit pops on the attack and the

2017 Quinta do Vallado Touriga Nacional, Portugal, Douro, Wine Rview

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

Another great valley in table wine reds from Portugal.  A go to category for exceptional values.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with plums, blueberries and slight black raspberry along with a bit of spice and char.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, the blueberries come thru along with some black cherries and underlying char and spice.  Good finish.  This could use a bit more cellaring or air, but should drink well for ten to fifteen more years.  It drinks well on its own and will work with grilled foods.  

2016 Mending Wall Petite Sirah Palisades Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review,

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$55.00USD

Great showing for this wine.  One of the best Petite Sirah vineyards!  This is inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with boysenberries, gravel, violets and spice.  Full bodied.  Lots of energy.  This is big but not over the top (especially for Petite).  Lots of black raspberry fruit over a gravelly bed.  Some peppery notes too.  Medium tannins.  Long finish.  This should continue to evolve for another five to seven years and drink well for ten after that.  It is also delicious today.  Drinks great on its own, this will work with roasted veggies or meats.  

2016 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco, Italy, Piedmont, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

From one of the best Co-Ops making wine anywhere in the world, this is their base level Barbaresco.  And, as they seem to do a few times every decade, they nailed it in 2016.  Ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose is great with cherries, spices, forest floor and slight mint.  On the palate, this has a lovely lush texture.

2005 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$125.00USD

One of the top producers in Chateauneuf, at age 15, this is singing.  Deep garnet in color, clear and bright.  The nose is great with cherries, kirsch, licorice, slight dried flowers and spices.  Medium to full bodied.  What a great texture.  Lush yet energetic.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Lots of kirsch notes with underlying clean earthiness.  Complex and layered.  Long finish.  Sure seems just about at peak but should drink well for another ten years.  Great on its own, even better with food.  Stews or roasts would be great.  

2015 Grgić Vina Plavac Mali, Croatia, Croatia, Pelješac, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$28.00USD

From famed winemaker Mike Grgich's winery project in Croatia.  Plavac Mali has been proven, thru DNA, to be a child of Zinfandel and another unknown grape.  The resemblance is noticeable.  This clocked in at 15.5% abv.  It certainly drinks like an American styled Zinfandel.  Purple in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is spicy with cherries, black cherries and an touch of mint.  On the palate, this is sweet/ripe fruit - black cherries and raspberries.  There is a touch of salinity and underlying char.  It doesn't seem to have much acidity but drinks very easily.  It is unclear wher

2011 Zlatan Plenkovic Crljenak Kaštelanski Croatia, Hvar, Makarska, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

Crljenak Kaštelanski is the same grape known as Zinfandel, Primitivo, and Tribidrag.  This has been confirmed by DNA testing.  The grape originated in Croatia and spread around the world.  That said, while there are some similarities, there are differences.  And, to be fair, even in California, there are many different styles of Zinfandel.  This is purple in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with a lot of earthiness.  Also cherries, tart blackberries and some black pepper.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, this has some acidity.  It is not robust but there is plenty of cherry

2015 Benvenuti Teran Anno Domini, Croatia, Istria, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

Teran makes fascinating wines that are hard to peg into "traditional" wine slots.  Purple in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose is nice with black cherries, baking spices, slight black raspberry and black tea.  On the palate, this has a medium body.  Strong acidity.  Firm tannins.  The black cherries carry thru with a bit of earthiness.  Almost like a mythical cross between Zinfandel and Nebbiolo.  Good finish.  It seems like this should drink well for ten years.  This probably will work better with food than on its own.  A hearty pasta bolognaise would work well. 

2018 Kozlović Teran, Croatia, Zapadna Istra, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$19.00USD

Teran is an interesting grape known as Terrano in Italy.  From the Istrian peninsula in Croatia.  Purple in color, mostly clear and bright.  On the nose this is more about dark fruits.  Plums and black cherries merge with balsamic vinegar and slight tea notes.  This is medium bodied with a strong backbone of acidity.  Firm tannins.  It eventually opens up more to show concentrated black cherry fruit with underlying tea/forest floor.  Very clean.  Tart cherries on the finish.  13% ABV.  This begs for food.  A hearty pasta dish would be a good match.  No idea on ageing but it would be interes

2018 Zlatan Otok Pošip Vrhunsko Vino, Croatia, Split-Omiš-Makarska, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

Another excellent, albeit different take on Posip.  This is a grape I need to explore more.  Golden in color with some copper hues, clear and bright.  The nose has apricots, slight straw, wax and a saline minerality.  It is full bodied and weighty but not cumbersome.  Very rich.  Enough acidity to carry thru but not a driving force on this wine.  The apricots come thru on the palate along with a bit of figs and underlying minerality.  Long finish.  This seems like it should have no problem going ten or more years.  It drinks well on its own but should work better with food.  Pork chops seem

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