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2018 Clusel-Roch Côte-Rôtie Champon, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$107.00USD

This is the first ever vintage of this wine.  Made from a massal (various clones growing together) selection of 65 year old vines at the top of the hill.  The Syrah is Serines which is a particular clone of Syrah that is native to the northern Rhone.  Some people think it is a distinct varietal but that is yet to be proven.  Purple in color with ruby swirls, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, black cherries, violets and char.  A wonderful velvety texture.  Medium tannins.  Great balance.  Delicious.  On the palate, black raspberries, smoke, and great minerality.  Tig

2018 Domaine Duclaux Côte-Rôtie Maison Rouge, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$75.00USD

This is 100% Syrah.  Purple in color with ruby swirls, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is great with black raspberries, smoked meat, slight graphite and spices.  Full bodied.  Firm tannins.  Nice acidity.  On the palate, black raspberries with underlying minerality.  Great, lush texture.  Long finish.  Delicious.  This could use a few more years, but is drinking well already.  It should drink well for the next twenty to twenty-five years.  Great on its own, this will work well with hearty stews or other big foods.  Is should improve with cellar time.  

2018 Xavier Gerard Condrieu Côte Chatillon, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$61.00USD

Very nice expression of a northern Rhone Viognier.  Deep golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose is perfumed with floral notes as well as peach, slight hay, and slight golden raisin.  Full bodied.  Viscous, slightly oily texture.  On the palate, some waxiness with some pear, slight orange and just a hint of floral notes.  Good acidity.  Dry.  Long finish.  This probably should be drunk in the next few years to enjoy the freshness.  Nice on its own, this would work well with lighter foods but would be nice s well with lobster.  

2012 Kapcsándy Family Winery Estate Cuvée State Lane Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Yountville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$150.00USD

This is their middle level Cabernet.  Purple in color, some ruby at the rim, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with cassis, coffee, graphite, dark chocolate and spice.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  Good balance.  On the palate, this is seriously good.  Lush cassis, graphite and spice.  This drinking great and should continue for ten to fifteen more years.  Great on its own, it will work great with Prime Rib.  

2017 Detert Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

Detert is more known for it Cab Franc, but this was excellent as well.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with cassis, spice, coffee, and slight earthiness.  Full bodied.  Firm tannins.  good balance.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Cassis, baking spice and slight tobacco.  Deep.  Long finish.  Ripe but not a fruit bomb.  Drinking well now, it will get better over the next five years.  Drink over the next ten to fifteen years.  Nice on its own, this will work well with pork chops.

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.  

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