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2010 Maison Ilan Charmes-Chambertin Aux Charmes Hautes, France, Burgundy, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$155.00USD

There is a lot of controversy about this American producer.  I won't go into the here except to say, all the wines I personally purchased and opened so far have been at or above expectations.  Pop and pour.  Light ruby in color, slightly hazy which is not uncommon in Burgundies.  The nose is very nice.  Earthy with slight mushrooms, cherries, slight cranberry notes and just a bit of funk.  Medium bodied with tart acidity (in a good way).  On the palate, nice cherry fruit with underlying earthiness and slight mushrooms.  Still on the youthful side of full maturity.  That said at age eleven,

2018 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

A friend of mine stopped by with a bottle.  My first reaction was that it was too young, so I was going to open an older bottle and then accidently opened this.  Glad I did.  While this will probably shut down, it was great.  Deep garnet in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose is  clean with black cherry fruit along with roasted meats, smoke/char and a slight floral note.  Full bodied.  On the pallet, this is drinking great.  Delicious.  Black raspberry fruit over char.  Clean (how long has it been since this was an issue at Beaucastel?).  Nice finish.  Obviously young with silky tanni

2017 Realm Cellars The Bard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$130.00USD

I love Realm wines and this might be my favorite.  A blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Merlot.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, black cherries, slight chocolate and tobacco with some cedar.  This is a very accessible vintage for this wine.  Full bodied.  On the palate, cassis and black cherries, with some forest floor notes.  Firm tannins.  Nice balance.  Long finish.  This drinks very Bordeaux-like for a Napa Cab.  It will still mature and like improve over the next ten to fifteen years and drink well for another ten to fifteen after that.  A nice wine

2018 Sine Qua Non Syrah Ziehharmonika, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
99
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$235.00USD

 This is a blend of 82% Syrah, 7% Mourvèdre, 6% Grenache, and 5% Petite Sirah.  Like many SQN wines, this weights in at 15.8% abv but there is no hint on the nose or palate.  Delicious wine.  Inky purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has black raspberries, white pepper, roasted meats and roasted herbs.  Full bodied with a lush but lively texture.  On the palate, this is surprisingly drinkable even at this young age.  Loads of black raspberries with underlying char and black pepper.  Deep.  Long finish.  Drinks great on its own but will work well with grilled, roasted or braised meats

2015 Cakebread Cellars Dancing Bear Ranch, USA, California, Napa, Howell Mountain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$180.00USD

This is 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 8% Merlot.  Purple in color, slight ruby hues, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, some very smooth oak and spice.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, there is a nice depth and complexity her.  Good acidity.  This is a really elegant wine that is just delicious.  It should continue to mature and perhaps improve over the next seven to ten years and drink well for fifteen more.  This would be a great steakhouse wine but will work well with a burger, too.  

2013 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon "Old Sparky" Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
100
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$1250.00USD

Wow.  An amazing wine.  This is only sold in Magnums.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with cassis, iodine, graphite, slight earthiness, and spice.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  For all of its power, however, this is not a bomb or monster wine.  There is a lovely elegance to this as it expands to coat the palate.  Flavors of cassis, slight blueberries, cherries with lots of concentration and depth.  Underlying minerality with a slight char.  Great energy and balance.  Long finish.  And, delicious.  This wine is young and will continue to mature and evolve for t

2015 Champagne Christophe Baron Champagne Les Hautes Blanches Vignes Charly-sur-Marne, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$250.00USD

This is from the people who bring you Cayuse and other wines from Washington State.  It is Champagne from France made from the Pinot Meunier grape planted in 1969.  Only made in Magnum and sold thru the Cayuse mailing list.  Golden in color with a slight ruby tint to it.  A nice mousse with a lot of effervescence.  The nose has Vernor's soda notes (sort of ginger and caramel).   With air some cherries and lemons come out.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, the cherries and lemons are more pronounced but there is still that underlying ginger.  Nice minerality.  Very concentrated, it slo

2012 Bollinger Champagne La Grande Année, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$125.00USD

Always a great wine and great "value" in the world of expensive Champagne, it seems as the 2012 is one of the best vintages yet, perhaps surpassing 2008 and going back to 1996 for that level of quality, at least for my tastes.  Light golden in color with slight green hues, clear and bright.  The mousse is consistent with lots of tiny bubbles.  The nose has a hint of toast upfront, followed by pears with a slight  floral quality.  Some citrus on the back end.  Full bodied.

2000 Di Meo Fiano di Avellino Selezione Erminia, Italy, Campagna, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2000
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$48.00USD

This is a wine with an interesting story and it was nice to get to try it.  Roberto Di Meo utilized late harvest grapes but fermented it dry.  It was then aged in stainless steel before bottling.  The first release of the wine was in 2014.  The wine has gotten rave reviews from some critics and less so, from others.  It is made from the Fiano di Avellino grape in southern Italy.  Fans should keep an eye out as this is a difficult sell and will occasionally appear on close out sites such as WTSO.  As for this bottle, it bottle 7536/9000.  Light green/gold in color, very light and fresh and h

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