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2012 Valdez Family Winery Zinfandel St. Peter's Church Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
91
Grade: 

Ulises Valvez was one of the great American success stories in the wine world.  An immigrant to this country, he built his vineyard and winery into a top notch winery.  Sadly, he passed away a couple of years ago at far too young of an age.  His winery carries on.  This is a Zinfandel blend that also has 17% Peite Sirah and 5% Grenache.  The vineyard was originally planted in 1888 and hand farmed by Ulises Valdez since 1988.  There are some very old vines.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, some raspberries, a bit of spice and bramble.  Nice texture.  Juicy acidity.  There is s

2008 Rhys Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$98.00USD

Pop and pour, this is still youthful and needs a bit of air.  Deep ruby with some ruby swirls.  The nose has cherries, strawberries, spice and a slight char to it.  On the palate, this has a great texture.  Nice cherry fruit with just a hint of candied cherries over a mineral/earthiness.  Light tannins.  This is young and will continue to mature.  It drinks grat on its own now but another few years and it might still improve.  Either way, it has at least ten to fifteen more years at the top.  This will work well with roasted fowl, pasta or casseroles.  

2009 Tommaso Bussola Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Italy, Veneto, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

From a magnum.  A blend of Corvinone (40%), Corvina Grossa (25%) and Rondinella (20%).  Opened and allowed to breathe for about one and a half hours before pouring.  Bussola is in my mind, a close third on the hierarchy of Amarone producers (following Quintarelli and Dal Forno).  His wines are pricey but doable.  This is his base bottling.  Purple in color with some ruby.

2015 Casarena Cabernet Sauvignon Owen's Vineyard, Argentina, Agrelo, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

Purple in color with ruby swirls.  The nose has cassis, cherries, bell pepper and slight spice.  On the palate, this is a bit candied (cherry) with some fresh cherries.  There is no bell pepper on the palate.  Medium finish.  This is an easy drinking red that is a nice value.  It should be drunk in the next three to five years.  Pairs nicely with pasta or pizza.  

2017 Seghesio Family Vineyards Zinfandel Sonoma County, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

This is always one of the really good values in Zinfandel.  It is consistently a solid wine in every vintage and this is no exception.  A blend of 87% Zinfandel, 9% Petite Sirah, 2% Carignane, 1% Syrah and 1% mixed reds.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, sandalwood and slight bramble.  On the palate, this is medium bodied.  Cherries and black cherries.  Slight tannins.  Easy drinking.  This will work great with burgers or pizza.  It should be drunk in the next three to five years.  

1999 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1999
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$70.00USD

This was a very nice bottle.  It was clean and must have been well stored all of these years.  Ruby in color.  The nose has red berries (kind of a cross between cherries and raspberries) with slight violets, roasted herbs and a bit of black pepper.  On the palate, this has some depth and a bit of complexity.  At or slightly past peak (perhaps) but drinking wonderfully.  Cherries with roasted herbs and slight forest floor.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  No hurry but it won't get better and should probably be consumed in the next five to seven years though it will last longer.  It will go with

2015 Fait-Main Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, St. Helena, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$200.00USD

A beautiful wine.  This was shut down on opening but within about 30 minutes it opened and kept improving all night long.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, dark chocolate, slight cigar box and baking spices.  On the palate, this has a medium to full body with a lovely texture.  Lots of energy.  Cassis over minerals and char.  Great balance.  Long finish.  This still needs a few more years to reach peak and should be good for ten to fifteen more after that. Plenty of upside on the score.  

2017 Aubert Chardonnay Eastside Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$130.00USD

Served from Magnum.  This was stunning.  Light gold in color, clear and bright.  The nose has smoke, vanilla, lemons and marzipan.  A bit tight but opens with air.  On the palate, vanilla and lemons with a slight melon note and a charred base.  A beautiful backbone of acidity that makes this very food friendly.  Long finish.  This wine should continue to mature and develop for a few more years and should easily be good for fifteen years, depending on how you like your Chardonnay.  It is also fantastic right now.  Very food friendly with all but the meatiest of dishes.  

2012 Linne Calodo Problem Child, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$78.00USD

This is a Zinfandel blend of 74% Zinfandel, 14% Syrah and 12% Mourvedre.  This is a big wine but it is drinking quite nicely right now.  Purple in color, slight ruby at the rim.  The nose has black cherries, raspberries, a bit of bramble, plums and black pepper.  On the palate, this has a nice texture.  A nice varietal complexity.  It goes down (too) easy.  Although there is no alcohol on the palate, it is 15.3%.  Lots of black cherry and raspberry fruit with some char and spice.  Good finish.  This drinks great on it own and would work well with a burger.  It probably should be consumed in

2013 Peter Michael Les Pavots, USA, California, Sonoma, Knights Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$180.00USD

This is a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Cabernet France, 9% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot.  This is a gorgeous wine but it will need some time to reach maturity.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  Cassis, black cherries, dark chocolate, char and baking spice on the nose.  Full bodied.  On the palate, the cassis and black cherries carry thru though concentrated.  Firm tannins.  An underlying char.  Long finish.  This needs about five to ten years until peak and will be good for ten to twenty years after that.  It drinks well on its own and will work with bigger foods especially roasts

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