Recent articles

2016 Keplinger Vermillion, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

This is the second label for Helen Keplinger.  The grapes are sourced 69% from the Sierra Foothills and 31% from Sonoma County.  It is a blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Counoise and Cabernet Sauvignon.  This is a great value in California blends.  Purple in color.  The nose has a lot going on with black raspberries, plums, some cassis and cherries along with a bit of spice and roasted meat.  On the palate, plenty of black raspberry fruit, some sherries over a charred earth quality.  Lush texture.  Delicious and easy drinking but with a bit of complexity to it.  Medium tan

2017 Dry Creek Vineyard Zinfandel Heritage Vines, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

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

This is a solid wine and a nice value in Sonoma Zinfandel.  A blend of 77% Zinfandel, 21% Petit Verdot & 2% Carignane.   Ruby in color with purple swirls.  The nose has raspberries, spice and dust.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, this is slightly brawny with red fruits.  Easy drinking.  Light tannins.  Best to drink now or in the next few years.  Works well with pizza or burgers.  A nice wine for a party.  Shop around as its MSRP is $26 but its widely available ranging from $15 and up.  

2016 Rhys Alesia Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

The Alesia wines from Rhys are made with purchased fruit.  It is similar to the Rhys Chards but for my tastes, not quite at that level.  Light gold/green in color.  The nose is nice with lemons, vanilla cream and spice.  On the palate, this is medium bodied.  Nice acidic cut.  The lemon and vanilla carry thru.  Good clean finish.  This drinks well on its own but will work well with sea food or lighter dishes.  Drink over the next ten years.  

2010 Domaine de la Chartreuse Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+

This is a new estate for me.  2010 was a great vintage which helped just about everyone.  This is ruby in color.  The nose has cherries with spice.  On the palate, this is nice.  Mild tannins.  Cherry fruit with underlying earthiness.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  This is at peak and probably should be consumed in the next three to five years.  it will work well with burgers and stews.  

2014 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

This can be a polarizing wine.  For some people, it is the definition of a fruit bomb and in a bad way.  To add insult to injury, those people seem incensed that the wine is so popular.  For others, this is one of the top Napa Cabs on the market.  There is no denying its success in sales volume.  It is purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has tons of cassis, some black cherries, toasty oak, and spice.  On the palate, this is jammy black raspberry fruit.  Light tannins.  Plenty of toasty oak.  It is big and for me, borders on too much but stays withing bounds.  It is tasty.  I would

2013 Domaine La Bouïssiere Vacqueyras, France, Rhone, Wine review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

Vacqueyras can be an excellent source of value in the southern Rhone.  The best wines are as good as many Gigondas and Chateauneuf du Pape wines, often at a lesser price.  This is one of the better ones.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has cherries, black cherries, slight cherry lozenge, and smoke.  On the palate, this is clean with cherry fruit and a nice minerality.  Medium bodied.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  This is drinking well.  It should be consumed in the next five to seven years.  A nice match with pizza or burgers as well as bean dishes.  

2015 Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

This is a reasonably priced base level Chateauneuf that is consistently a good value.  In the better vintages such as 2015, it can be outstanding.  Ruby/purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, raspberries, garrique, char and spice.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, this has bold cherry fruit, a bit of spice and slight char.  It is drinking well now and will continue to over the next seven to ten years.  It is a great match for casseroles or on its own.  

2016 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$65.00USD

What a great showing for this wine.  Yes, it is still a bit young, but really one of the best showings from this house I have seen.  Time to get a few more bottles.  It is 75% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, and 5% Cinsault.  Purple in color, ruby at the core.  The nose is great with black raspberries, baking spices, garrique and slight lavender.  Full bodied.  Luxurious texture.  Rich and full bodied.  Medium tannins.  Lots of concentrated black raspberry fruit over a bed of char and gravel.  Long finish.  Delicious.  One of those wine when each sip makes one want another.  It drinks g

2007 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva Colonia, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$90.00USD

I love Chianti.  My favorite winery there is Felsina.  This is their top Chianti.  it is rare and expensive.  It is 100% Sangiovese from the Rancia vineyard's highest growing vines.  The wine is quite concentrated and complex.  Deep ruby in color.  On opening, this was tight but with a couple hours of air, it opened beautifully.  Lots of cherries and black cherries on the nose along with some char and a bit of a pine forest.  On the palate, this is bold with firm tannins.  Lots of cherry fruit.

2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah Griffin's Lair, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$43.00USD

This is drinking quite well now.  A great example of a cooler climate Syrah from California.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper, and slight bacon fat.  On the palate, this is very concentrated.  Boysenberry fruit with char underneath and a slightly meaty taste.  Medium to full bodied.  A wisp of tannins.  Nice acidity.  Long finish.  This is great with roasted veggies (and would be with meat or fowl) and would also work with Indian food.  No hurry, this should be good for another seen to ten years.  

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