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2014 Hanzell Chardonnay Sebella, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

In a recent tasting of California Chardonnays, this was my favorite.  It should be noted that I liked it more than most in the group and that is, I am sure, a style thing.  This is a rich wine that is really firing on all cylinders though starting to show some middle age.  It was older than most of the wines at the tasting, so that may account for some of the various opinions.  Anyway, I found it outstanding.  Yellow/green in color, clear and bright.  The nose has grapefruit, vanilla, and citrus.  On the palate, this has a great, lush texture.  Creamy.  The grapefruit carries thru with a ni

2016 Smith-Madrone Chardonnay, USA, California, Napa, Spring Mountain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

Golden in color.  The nose shows a fair amount of oak (cloves and spice) and also some pineapple.  On the palate, this is slightly sweet but also has nice underlying minerality.  Some grapefruit and peach notes.  A nice texture.  Less oak on the palate.  Warmth on the finish.  Pretty classic Napa Chard in style but within reason.  At peak but should drink well for the next three to five years.  A nice match with heartier sea food and also poultry.  Drinks well on its own too.  For those who like this style, they will love it even more.  

2018 Kumeu River Chardonnay Estate, New Zealand, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

This is the middle level bottling from this superb winery in New Zealand.  Although New Zealand is not normally known for Chardonnay this wine makes spectacular bottlings especially their single vineyard offerings.  Pale silvery/gold in color, clear and bright.  The nose is great with nice minerality and slight grapefruit.  On the palate, this is clean and very lively.

2015 Tzafona Cellars Chardonnay Unoaked Niagara Peninsula VQA, Canada, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$19.00USD

This was my first time trying this winery.  Tzafona is a Hebrew word for going north.  It is a kosher wine.  Golden in color, clear and bright.  Surprisingly deep color for an unoaked Chard.  Perhaps it is starting to oxidize a bit from age.  The nose is nice with slight pineapple and a slightly buttery and slightly oxidized scent.  On the palate, this is full bodied.  It has some crispness to it.  Notes of grapefruit and some butter.    Solid finish.  Over all a nice wine and very interesting.  It is already five years old, and should probably be consumed within the next few years.

2018 Cellier des Dauphins Côtes du Rhône Reserve Grenache-Syrah, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$15.00USD

This is 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah.  It comes in an attractive more squat bottle.  Ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose is warm with a dusty attic quality.  Lots of cherries with garrique.  Also some old wood notes.  Very comforting.  On the palate, this is ripe/sweet on the attack.  Black cherries and slight cherry pie filling.  Some acidity.  This took about an hour or air to settle out.  Served to a small socially distanced group, this was quite popular.  It drinks well on its own and would be a great match for barbecues ribs or chicken this summer.  It should probably be co

2017 Flora Springs Merlot, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$38.00USD

Another in a fine line of Napa Merlot's from Flora Springs.  Merlot ripens earlier than Cabernet allowing the vineyard manager to let fruit hang if needed to get ripe.  No issues here despite a less than stellar growing season.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has black cherries, milk chocolate and spice.  A nice silky texture.  Lots of black cherry fruit.  Light tannins.  This is still young but drinks quite easy.  It will mature a bit, but is drinking great now.  It should drink well over the next seven to ten years.  Great on its own or a nice match for burgers or ribs.  

2019 Cellier des Dauphins Côtes du Rhône Les Dauphins Reserve Rosé, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
89
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$12.00USD

It really is amazing how Rosé's have really stepped up their game over the last ten to twenty years.  And, the buying public has noticed all over the world.  This is a blend of 75% Grenache, 15% Cinsault and 10% Syrah.  Pale silvery/salmon pink in color.  Clear and bright.  The nose has cherries, slight strawberries and slight tarragon.  On the palate, this is light bodied but has some backbone.  Crisp and refreshing.  It drinks easy with some complexity.  The strawberries carry thru with some underlying minerality.  Drink now.  Great on its own and will drink well with many foods including

2019 Pasqua 11 Minutes Rosé, Itsaly, Veneto, Rose Trevenezie IGT, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$16.00USD

This proved quite popular at a recent tasting.  The name 11 minutes refers to the amount of time the juice is in contact with the skins.  It comes in an attractive squat bottle with a glass stopper.  A blend of Corvina 50%, Trebbiano 25%, Syrah 15%, and Carménère 10%.  Pale, silvery salmon in color.  Clear and bright.  The nose is pretty with maraschino cherries and slight strawberry notes.  On the palate, this is light bodied but not wimpy.  Notes of cherry licorice.  Very refreshing with some depth.  Orange peel/pith comes out towards the moderately lengthy finish.  This drinks quite well

2019 Flora Springs Soliloquy Vineyard White Wine, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review,

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

Soliloquy is the name for Flora Springs’ proprietary Sauvignon Blanc clone.  The bottle is labelled as white wine but it is a blend of predominantly Sauvignon Blanc, with Chardonnay, and Malvasia.  It is the top of the line white from this winery.  It is silvery/gold in color, clear and bright.  The nose is pretty with floral notes and some cara cara oranges.  On the palate, this has a lovely creamy texture.  Very lush.  Flavors of bitters, limes and slight cream soda.  Dry.  A hint of almond on the finish.  This is a very polished white wine and needs another year or so but should be good

2018 Flora Springs Sauvignon Blanc, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

Flora Springs make a variety of wines.  This is 100% Sauvignon Blanc from the Crossroads Vineyard in Oakville in Napa.  It is silvery/green/gold in color.  The nose is very nice with lemon-lime, sweetgrass and minerals.  It has a very nice, slightly oily texture.  Just a hint of residual sugar offset by tart limes.There is a slight chalky quality as well.  Overall, this is very clean and refreshing.  It has a long finish with some warmth.  It would actually work well with grilled asparagus, always a tough food pairing, and lots ot lighter foods or on its own.  Drink this over the next year.

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