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1998 Château Margaux, France,Bordeaux, Margaux, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1998
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$400.00USD

Any time one gets a chance to drink a first growth, it's a true pleasure.  They have become prohibitively priced, so its nice when a bottle actually gets open and consumed.  Perhaps not the greatest vintage of Margaux, but a very good one.  At age 22, this is pretty much at peak and drinking very well.  Deep ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The  nose has a bit of that Margaux liquor/perfume with cherries, cassis, slight spice, and leather but clean.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  The palate has black cherries, slight black tea, and slight soy.  Long finish.

2007 Domaine Charvin Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$100.00USD

This performed above expectations.  It is in a really great place right now.  Purple in color with a thin ruby lip.  The nose is classic with black cherries, cherries, black olives, garrique and slight dried flowers.  This is a bit bigger than most vintages but still has that Charvin sinewy texture and energy.  It is not a big wine.  Nice black cherry fruit with a base of semi-clean earthiness.  Great balance.  Layers of depth and complexity.  Long finish.  Delicious.  This bottle seemed just about at peak but should be hears for at least another decade.  Drinks great on its own but will wo

2008 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut La Grande Dame, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$130.00USD

This is the top "Luxury Cuvee" from this Champagne house.  They nailed it in 2008 and while it might not be quite at the levels of some of the top Champagnes, it isn't priced like they are either.  Another great showing for this wine.  Silvery gold in color, clear and bright with a nice mousse of lots of tiny bubbles.  The nose has smoke, minerals and light chalk.  Full bodied with excellent acidity.  The minerality and chalk carry thru to the palate.

2008 Dom Pérignon Champagne, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
99
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$170.00USD

This is one of the better vintages of Dom Perignon.  It is truly amazing to make a wine of this quality at the amount of quantity they make.  Drink alongside some other 2008 heavyweights, and this more than held its own.  Light golden in color with a touch of green, clear and bright.  Lovely mousse with lots of small bubbles.  The nose has brioche, lemons and smoke.  Very big and powerful.  On the palate, tart lemons over a nice minerality.  Great mouthfeel.  So smooth and easy to drink.  Yet, deep and complex.  Starting to get past the baby stage and flexing some muscles at this point.  Gr

2008 Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
100
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$270.00USD

Wow.  An ethereal wine that is both intense and present yet also so light as it dances on the palate.  Silvery gold in color with a fine bead of tiny bubbles making up the mousse.  The nose has some smoke and light citrus but the minerality steals the show for m.  On the palate, the lime and tangerine come out a bit more over a nice mineral base.  More lemon on the very long finish.  It is also delicious.  This is young but drinks so easily.  Can it get better?  I would say no, it will just change.  Drink any time over the next couple of decades.  This would work with just about any food an

2015 Agricola San Felice Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Il Grigio, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$35.00USD

There are so many truly great values in 2015/2016 Chiant's that this one was a bit disappointing.  That is a bit harsh, as this is an excellent wine.  But for the price and pedigree, more was expected (which is perhaps a bit unfair).  Purple in color, ruby at the rim, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has cherries, slight coffee and a bit of forest floor.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, ripe fruit.  Not the level of acidity that I come to expect in chianti, but some.  Light tannins.  Cherry fruit with underlying dust and earthiness.  Good finish.  Perhaps this is a bit shut down at this p

2014 Tommaso Bussola Valpolicella Classico Superiore Tb, Italy, Veneto, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$37.00USD

Another "lesser" wine from Bussola.  And yes, while his Amarone's are amazing, they are also pricey.  This Valpolicella is much more affordable and even in a poor vintage like 2014, he made great wine.  This is a blend of Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, Molinara and other grapes.  Fifty percent of the grapes for this wine are harvested in September and are dried for 3 months.

2018 Cellier des Dauphins Côtes du Rhône Les Dauphins Cuvée Spéciale, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$11.00USD

Cotes du Rhones offer up some excellent values.  Add to that the Rhone Valley (especially in the Southern Rhone) seems to have eight or nine good to great vintages a decade, and it can be a go to source of outstanding values.  This wine is certainly one.  It appears to be a Grenache/Syrah blend but the exact blend is unknown.  The bottle is attractively packaged with an unusual shape and a colorful "Old-timey" label.  Deep ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose has black cherries, roasted meats, slight cinnamon and nutmeg with a slight earthiness.  Medium bodied.  There is a nice

2014 Riverain Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$125.00USD

I am a huge fans of the many wineries that Thomas Rivers Brown makes wine from and this is one more.  A delicious, modern but not over the top Napa Cabernet.  Purple in color with a thin ruby rim.  Opaque and bright.  The nose is great with cassis, slight char, and baking spices.  Full bodied.  Nice acidity.  Lively energy.  The palate has a very nice cassis with underlying char.  Long finish.

2015 Domaine de Fauterie Cornas, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

This was quite tight.  Opened and tried over three nights and on the third night it finally started to show something.  That is, of course, not unusual for a traditional Cornas.  Purple in color, opaque and moderately bright.  The nose has boysenberries, slight bacon fat, black olives and slight pepper.  On the palate, this is medium bodied and very concentrated.  Nice texture which is probably the best clue that there is a nice wine lurking in there once it opens.  Enough boysenberry fruit to satisfy but this is more about minerality and earthiness.  It is quite tasty too.  If opening now,

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