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2008 Caillez-Lemaire Champagne Extra Brut Cuvee Jadis, France, Champagne, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

From the excellent 2008 vintage.  This is 60% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir and,10% Pinot Munier.  Light golden in color, clear and bright.  A fair amount of tiny bubbles.  The nose has apples, slight cider notes, and a touch of chalk.  Medium bodied.  Good acidity.  The fruit is ripe which comes off a bit sweet but that calms down with air.  Nice apple fruit.  Solid finish.  This is drinking quite well now and should continue to do so for the next decade.  It went well with a varied menu from Shishido peppers and garlic to sharp Cheddar.  

2018 Turley Zinfandel Juvenile, USA, California, Wine Review

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

From one of the top producers of Zinfandel, this is made from their younger vines.  Deep ruby in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has cherries, black cherries, slight bramble and spice.  Medium bodied.  Light on its feet.  This has a lot of energy and drinks really easily.  The cherries and black cherries come thru on the palate.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  This should drink well for the next five to seven years.  It will work well with pizza, pasta and burgers.  

2017 Zvonko Bogdan Cuvée No. 1, Serbia, Vojvodina, Subotica, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$27.00USD

According to the label, this is a blend of 50% Merlot, 30% cabernet Franc, and 20% Frankova Blaufränkisch.  It has a label which has some resemblance to a whimsical Bordeaux label (if those even exist).  I liked this better than the 2016 Life Flows from the same winery and a similar blend.  Whether that was due to vintage variation or the use of better barrels, I am not experienced with these wines enough to  know.  It has a deep ruby color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries, slight tobacco, cherries, spice and slight rhubarb.  On the palate, this is medium bodied with

2016 Zvonko Bogdan Life Flows, Serbia, Vojvodina, Subotica, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
84
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$22.00USD

Attractively packaged in a modern, western styled label.  This is a blend of Merlot 50%, Cabernet Franc 30%, and Frankova (Blaufränkisch) 20%.  It is a solid wine that tastes international in style.  Garnet in color, mostly clear and bright.  The has raspberries and cherries with some cassis along with slight baking spice.  There is some volatile acidity on the nose but not overwhelming.  Medium bodied with light tannins.  On the palate, cassis and cherries with underlying dusty earth.  Some acidity.  Moderate finish.  This probably should be consumed in the next five years.  It drinks fine

NV Oszkár Maurer Kadarka, Serbia, Subotica, Wine Review

Score: 
87
Grade: 
B

First, these grapes are supposedly (and I have no reason not to believe) from vines planted in 1880 and grown on their own roots in a very sandy soil near the Hungarian border with Serbia.  The label lists the alcohol at 11.4% abv and interestingly says it has an unlimited shelf life.  This is a "natural wine" according to the wineries web site.  It is pale ruby in color, very cloudy and flat.  On the nose, there is slight brett coming across as sweaty socks with some light but pure cherry fruit.  It is light bodied but has a nice depth and complexity on the palate.  Black cherry and cherry

2016 Monastery Tvrdos Vranac, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Trebinje, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$24.00USD

Made from the Vranac grape which is popular in the Balkans.  The wine is made in a monastery that dates back to the 1500's.  It is aged in large oak barrels.  Purple in color, bright with a magenta rim.  On the nose, there are cherries, a bit of dill, slight earthiness, some volatile acidity and an interesting note that, to me, comes across as Frito's Corn Chips.  On the palate, this has tart cherry fruit.  Plenty of depth and complexity.  Turning more to black cherry at the finish.  The acidity pushes the limits but is within bounds (for my tastes).  This is a wine that begs for food; past

2015 Wine of Illyria Čitluk D.D. Trnjak, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
86
Grade: 
B

The Trnjak grape is planted in the Citluk vineyard to pollinate the Blatina grapes.  It is also vinified on its own make this 100% Trnjak grape wine.  I actually preferred the Trnjak wine.  Ruby in color, with some slight browning but still bright.  The nose is dusty with black cherries, and some black current.  A touch of volatile acidity.  On the palate, the black cherries come thru along with a touch of candied cherries and slight earthiness.  Good acidity but under control.  Nice finish.  This drinks well now and should have a few more years, but that's just a guess.  It will work well

2015 Wines of Illyria Blatina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
84
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$17.00USD

This is made from 100% Blatina grapes.  Blatina is a female only grape that was pollinated with Trnjak grapes in the vineyard.  Ruby in color, some browning at the edges.  Still fairly bright.  The nose is tight at first but opens to dust and black cherries.  On the palate, this has bracing acidity.  Notes of cranberries and slight rhubarb with some underlying minerality.  Long finish.  This wine begs for food and would work well with fatty meats and stews.  No idea how it ages but it would seem this should be consumed sooner, maybe the next few years.  

2019 Carski Vinogradi Žilavka Emporia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mostar, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$27.00USD

A very interesting native white varietal from Bosnia.  95% Žilavka, 5% Bena.  First time trying either of these varieties.  Golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose shows some slight bubbles but they are not detectable on tasting.  Perhaps just some slight trapped CO2.  The nose has a nice minerality along with some lemon notes.  The grape is supposedly known for its acidity, but this particular bottle did not show a lot of that.  If anything, a bit more crispness would have been nice.  It is full bodied with a slightly oily (nice) texture.  The minerality carries thru to the palate whi

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