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J. Lohr 2018 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$100.00USD

When Jerry Lohr started planting Cabernet in Paso Robles in the 1970s most people thought he was crazy. But it turns out that Paso Robles has been quite an exceptional AVA for Cabernet in the Golden State. The combination of Jerry’s years of working with this grape is now seen inside this bottle. It offers wonderful dark fruits - blackberry boysenberry, and huckleberry with only slight elements of red fruit like black cherry and raspberry. On the back palate there is noticeable chocolate/tobacco notes.

Traipche 2018 Malbec, Terroir Series

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
93
Grade: 
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

It’s safe to say Argentina’s signature red grape is Malbec. In the right hands Malbec can be a commanding wines, such as Trapiche’s offering of the 2018. This is a velvety smooth wine showcasing black cherry, huckleberry, boysenberry, red currant, and tannins that are mild, but noticeable. The judicious use of oak enhances the fruit, there are back notes of cedar, cocoa powder, and plum. This offers wonderful drinkability with slightly nuanced fruit, veering away from heavier, tannic and fruit forward wines.

2020 Ladera Chardonnay, Pillow Road Vineyard

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

Ladera launched in 1998 and has consistently produced impressive wines. For their 2020 Chardonnay, they aged the grapes sur lie in new French oak barrels for 15 months (58% of which were new), which means this definitely offers a creamier style, however it is well balanced so you get a classic Chardonnay, but a silky smooth one. This offers light pear, lemon chiffon, lime meringue, candied almond, slight resin, and hints of guava. This is a lovely, tactile wine that drinks beautifully with, or without food. 289 cases. ORIGIN: Russian River Valley.  ALCOHOL: 14.1%

2018 Luna Vineyards Merlot Reserve, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

Luna made some nice wines.  This was certainly one.  Purple in color with some ruby swirls, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has cherries, milk chocolate, spice, and slight plums.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, this is easy drinking but also has some depth.  Chocolate covered cherries with a slight bit of undergrowth.  Good finish.  Nice on its own, this is a classic burger wine as well.  Drink over the next ten years.  

2007 Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

Purchased at the winery.  Garnet in color, clear and bright.  The nose is nice with cherries, tea leaves, and coffee.  Full bodied.  Good acidity.  On the palate, bright cherry fruit.  Plenty of depth.  Layered.  Underlying tobacco/forest floor notes.  Long finish.  This is nice on its own but better with food.  A big plate of pasta is the obvious choice.  Drink over the next five to eight years.  

2001 A. Rafanelli Cabernet Sauvignon Terrace Select, USA, California, Sonoma, Dry Creek Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2001
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$250.00USD

This is made from grapes on the terrace just south of the winery.  At age 21, it is drinking beautifully.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with black cherries, cassis and spice.  Full bodied.  Light tannins.  On the palate black cherries and cassis.  Clean.  Nice complexity.  Long finish. This should drink well for another five to eight years.  It will work well with Lasagna.  

2006 A. Rafanelli Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Sonoma, Dry Creek Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2006
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

Purple in color, ruby at the rim, mostly clear and bright.  The nose is very nice with black cherries, cassis, slight spice and slight black olives.  Medium to full bodied.  Light tannins.  On the palate, this is still fresh and vibrant.  Tasty.  Some depth and complexity as it unwinds in the glass.  Great balance.  Good finish.  Drinking well now, it should go another five to seven years with no trouble.  Nice on its own, but better with food.  It worked well with eggplant parmigiana.  

2009 Lagier Meredith Syrah, USA, California, Napa, Mt. Veeder, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

This winery recently sold.  While the former owners, Napa legends Carole Meredith and Steve Lagier, are entitled to work a bit less, the wines will be missed.  Quality Syrah (and others) at very fair pricing.  This one is no exception.  2009 was a good vintage provided the grapes were harvested before the early fall rains.  It would appear these were.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with black raspberries, black pepper, slight gamey meats.  Medium to full bodied.  Very concentrated.  On the palate, light tannins.  Plenty of black raspberry fruit with some black pepper

2009 Taylor (Fladgate) Porto Vintage

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

Still very young but drinking well.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has dark chocolate, cherries, dried cherries and slight sandalwood.  Full bodied.  Viscous.  Slightly sweet.  Deep.  Light tannins.  On the palate, dark chocolate covered cherries.  Slight warming on the finish.  This drink well for another twenty years or more.  Nice on its own or would be great with a chocolate dessert.  

2003 Fonseca Porto Vintage, Portugal, Douro, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2003
Score: 
96
Grade: 
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

Nice to revisit this.  At age 19, this is still youthful but starting to show some refinement.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is great with chocolate covered raisins and some red raspberries.  Lots of energy.  Slightly viscous.  On the palate, chocolate and raisins.  Sweet, not cloying.  Some heat on the finish.  This should easily go another fifteen or twenty years.  Great on its own or with some type of blue cheese.

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