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1997 Tommaso Bussola Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Tb, Italy, Veneto, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1997
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$180.00USD

Bussola is one of the top producers in Amarone and the top producer I can still afford (after Quintarelli and Dal Forno).  This was an older bottle that was just singing.  It had been stood up for a week and then decanted just prior to serving.  It continued to open up for the next couple of hours.  Really a gorgeous wine.  Purple in color with ruby swirls.  The nose is great.  Dusty at first, that gave way to slight craisins, cherries with some underlying smoke and even a bit of dried flowers.  With more air, a chocolate/caramel note comes out; almost sweet.  On the palate, this is still l

2016 Halcon Vineyards Pinot Noir Oppenlander Vineyard, USA, California, Mendocino, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

This is the first Pinot I have tried from Halcon, one of my favorite Rhone varietal producers.  This is excellent.  On the worldwide scale of Pinots it is on the larger size but certainly not for California.  Purple in color with some ruby swirls.  The nose has black cherries and sour cherries.  Very nice.  On the palate, this has a wonderful texture.

2013 Grgich Hills Chardonnay, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$35.00USD

This has come together nicely in the last few years.  It is drinking quite well now.  Slightly lighter golden in color.  The nose is nice.  There is still some obvious oak, but that is more about house style and it is not over the top.  Aromas of lemon cream and slight vanilla with a bit of baking spice.  Full bodied.  The lemon carries thru to the palate with a hint of vanilla.  No heat showing.  Good acidity.  There is some depth and development.  Nice finish.  Classic Napa Chardonnay.  This should still have five to ten more years left at peak.  It will go well with seafood, salads and m

2015 Daniel Bouland Morgon Corcelette Vieilles Vignes, France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A

Wow.  This is impressive.  For the Beaujolais purist this might be too much but for the rest of us, this is delicious and a great wine.  A prior review can be found on this site from a couple of years ago, but it has improved since then.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, figs, slight black raspberries and a bit of spice.  On the palate, this has medium tannins.  Lots of black raspberry fruit with some black cherries and slight fig.  A bit of black olives too.  Deep and complex, this is delicious and interesting.  Still young, it has at least a decade and probably two left whic

2010 Hobel Wine Works Cabernet Sauvignon Engelhard Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Callistoga,Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$90.00USD

Nice to try a Hobel with some age on it.  This was purchased on release.  Still youthful though it is drinking well with a bit of air.  This was made by Thomas Rivers Brown.  Purple in color with some ruby swirls.  The nose is very nice with cassis, cedar, leather, and spice.  On the palate, this still has medium tannins.  cassis fruit with some underlying dry earthiness.  Good balance.  Nice finish.  It unwinds a bit in the glass showing some layering.  Overall, this is maturing nicely.  It won't get better but should keep maturing.  No hurry, this has at least another decade in it.  It wi

2015 Philip Togni Cabernet Sauvignon Tanbark Hill, USA, California, Napa, Spring Mountain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$56.00USD

Phillip Togni's wines often need a long period of cellaring before they are ready.  Not so with this one.  Although still young, it is drinking well and quite enjoyable right now.  Deep ruby with purple swirls in color.  The nose is pretty with cassis, cherries, and dust.  On the palate, this is soft with lighter tannins.  Plenty of black cherry fruit and some cassis.  Good finish.  This will go with a wider variety of foods than most Cabs and probably is helped by serving with food.  It should be enjoyed over the next decade.  

2017 Carlisle Syrah Sonoma County, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

This is the base Syrah from Carlisle and is always a great value.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, black cherries, black pepper and coffee.  Very nice.  On the palate, this is medium to full bodied.  cooler climate in profile.  Black cherries, black raspberries, slight earthiness.  Lighter tannins.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  This is drinking well right now and may get a bit better over the next few years.  It should easily do another ten years.  This will go great with Indian food or meat/veggie stews and chili.  Sometimes, these wines don't get enough respect as the ge

2014 Rivers-Marie Cabernet Sauvignon Corona Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$150.00USD

The home winery for winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown.  This Cabernet is exceptional if still young.  Deep purple in color.  The nose has plums, cassis, coffee and slight pencil lead.  On the palate, this is very concentrated.  Lots of cassis, some plums intertwined with some char and earth.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  Firm tannins.  This needs about five more years to sort things out and should be good for ten to twenty years after that.  It will go well with grilled meats and roasted fowl, meat or veggies.  It may still get a bit better.  

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