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2016 Fairway & Vines Ben Curtis Cuvee Red Wine Blend Mendocino, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

This is the second vintage for a Red Wine Blend and I far prefer this to the 2015 version.  it is a blend of 42% Zinfandel, 21% Petite Sirah, 19% "Port Grapes, and 18% Syrah.  Yes, Port wine grapes can be a wide variety but I have no idea what they used and that the grapes are from Mendocino.  But, for $20 retail, no need to get hung up on that.  Right now it seems the Zinfandel and to a lesser extent the Syrah dominate the blend although that might change with time.  It is made by Rich Parducci.  This utilizes a cork (unlike the Chardonnay)  Ruby in color with purple swirls.  The nose has

2017 Fairway & Vines Chardonnay Lodi, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$15.00USD

This is a label created by golfer Ben Curtis and Rich Parducci.  The wines are meant to be affordable (full retail is about $20).  This Chardonnay was made in steel and uses no oak.  Screw capped.  Golden in color, with a bit of a copper hue.  The nose is tight but with some air, it opens to show lemon balm, lemon grass, and just a hint of LemonHeads candy.  On the palate, the texture is slightly oily.  There is an interesting chalkiness to it and the lemon balm comes thru.  It is steely and easy drinking.  This drinks well on its own.  Very refreshing.  It has enough acidity to work well w

2017 Landmark Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands, USA, California, Monterey, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

This is a surprisingly big and bold Pinot Noir.  The surprise is more that it is from the Santa Lucia Highlands.  The vines were planted in 2008.  Although 2017 wasa bit lighter of a vintage in Sonoma/Napa, it would appear that down in Monterey, there was no issue in getting fruit ripe.  Certainly not for this wine.  It has a very pretty ruby/garnet color.  Clear and bright.  The nose shows coffee, black cherries, and a slight rhubarb.  With air a bit of brown sugar emerges.  On the palate, this is full bodied with light tannins.  It has juicy red berries.  There is some oak coming thru as

2018 Landmark Chardonnay Overlook, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$27.00USD

Tasted this as part of a virtual wine tasting during the Covid 19 Shelter in Place Order.  These tastings are a fun and informative way to try some wines.  This is a blend of 23 different vineyards to make an affordably priced wine.  For those seeking a wine in this style, this offers a nice value.  it has a medium to deep gold color with some green swirls.  The nose has plenty of up front toasty oak along with a bit of lemon chiffon and a hint of baked apple.  On the palate, this has s very nice, slightly oily texture.  The palate is similar to the nose.  The oak is out front, but there is

2019 Château Minuty Côtes de Provence Prestige, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

This is a Rose from southern France.  It is a blend of 60% Grenach, 20% Syrah, 10% Cinsault, and 10% Tibouren.  Perhaps more than most springs, I am looking forward to staying home and sipping on some Rose as the weather gets nice/warmer.  This is light salmon pink/orange in color.  Very pale but bright and clear.  It has a much bigger nose with nice strawberries, some hay and slight watermelon.  On the palate, it has an interesting texture.  A bit oily but also creamy.  The strawberries really come thru on the palate.  Refreshing and tasty.  Good balance.  Long finish.  This drinks great o

2018 Kumeu River Chardonnay Hunting Hill

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

My first time trying this New Zealand winery.  Very impressed.  This wine is barrel fermented and raised in barrel for eleven months but shows no overt signs of any oak.  Probably just a bit of new oak barrels.  Golden in color with a tinge of copper.  The nose is very nice with orange, stony minerality, and lime zest.  This has a very nice texture.  It is creamy yet steely if that makes sense.  On the palate, it starts with a crisp stony minerality followed by a citrus mid-palate and then all notes crescendo for a full and long finish.  It is also delicious.  The finish is long.  Of course

2017 Cave de Saumur Rouge Les Pouches, France, Loire Valley, Saumur, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$13.00USD

`This is a 100% Cabernet Franc froma Co-Op in Saumur.  An inexpensive red, it is an excellent value.  Inky purple in color.  The nose is light but has cherries, plums, green bell pepper and a bit of a steely note.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, there is more present.  Plums and cherries with a bit of a green streak.  Light tannins.  With air the red fruits come out more.  Moderate finish.  This probably won't get better but should drink well for five to seven years.  It is better with a bit of food.  Stews or Chili would work well.  For $13, its hard to expect more from a red.  

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.  

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