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Zooming Through Moraga Bel Air Wines

When Moraga Bel Air invited me to do a wine and cheese pairing via Zoom, I was enthused. No, I have never had their wines but had been invited to their estate several times but could never make it. If you’re not familiar with Moraga Bel Air, it’s because the winery and vineyards are located in Los...

2017 Justin Vineyards & Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$58.00USD

This is a winery club only wine.  Containing 100% Cabernet Sauvignon it, comes in at 16.1% abv.  The wine spends 17 months in two-thirds new oak.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has sweet cassis, black cherries, cigar box and baking spice.  With air some dark chocolate emerges.  This s full bodied with ripe fruit.  Silky tannins.  Lots of energy.  Flavors of cassis and black cherry of a slight char and tobacco.  Good finish.  This is delicious right now but should calm down a bit with cellaring.  It depends on how you like your Cabs.  Right now this drinks great on its own. 

2016 Justin Vineyards & Winery Isosceles, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$70.00USD

This is the flagship wine from Justin.  It is a Bordeaux styled blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and 7% Merlot.  it sees 100% new French oak.  This is a very nice wine that is pretty unique given the number of similarly proportioned wines in France, Napa and the rest of the world.  It has a deeper ruby color with some purple swirls, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has black currants, some black cherries with a bit of baking spice and slight dark chocolate notes.  On the palate, this has a nice juicy, chewy texture.  Lots of black cherry fruit and spice.  Though plenty

2017 Justin Vineyards & Winery Justification, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

This is a "right bank" Bordeaux blend from Paso Robles.  It is 65% Cabernet Franc and 35% Merlot and sees 44% new French oak for 20 months..  Ruby/purple in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose is nice with black cherries, dusty, baking spices, slight tobacco and cedar.  On the palate, this has thick tannins at this stage.  Lots of cherries, red currants, spice and slight earthiness.  It is very tight right now but opened up nicely on day 2.  If drinking now, give it a good decant.  This should improve a bit over the next few years and be good for seven to ten years after that.  It has

2012 Landmark Vineyards Pinot Noir Rodgers Creek, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+

Nice to be able to try this with a bit of age on it.  Deeper cherry red in color, clear and bright.  The nose has cherry lozenges, slight mushrooms and dust.  On the palate, this has a full bodied, juicy texture.  Cherry candies/lozenges.  The bottle lists 14.6% abv but it seems higher both in texture and warmth on the finish.  That said, this is enjoyable and probably better as a cocktail than at the dinner table.  It could probably hold up with a grilled steak.  It probably should be drunk in the next few years.  

2017 Landmark Pinot Noir Hop Kiln Estate, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

This is a pretty classic RRV Pinot Noir.  It skirts the line between elegance and brawn nicely.  A nice value for a Pinot Noir of this quality.  Ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose has sour cherries, slight root beer, and baking spices.  Really a great texture.  Creamy but with some cut to it.  It dances on the palate which has plenty of cherry fruit and sunshine.  Slight char note underlying the fruit.  Nice finish.  This is young and needs some cellaring or air.  It unwinds a bit in the glass but gives the impression of more to come.  It should be cellared for three to five more ye

2018 Landmark Vineyards Pinot Noir Overlook, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$27.00USD

This is the base Pinot from Landmark.  It sources grapes from Monterey, Santa Barbara and Sonoma Counties.  The wine is fermented in stainless steel and then spends 10 months in 25% new French oak.  Stylistically it is middle of the road with more elegance but still lots of sunshine.  Cherry red in color, clear and bright.  The nose is nice with a bit of smoke and cherries at first but lightens with air to show some pretty strawberries.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, the strawberries come thru.  Nice acidity.  Turning more to tart black cherries on the finish.  There is some depth.  This i

2018 Landmark Vineyards Chardonnay Overlook, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

Interesting Trivia bit - The original owners of Lanmark were descendants of John Deere of Tractor fame.  Overlook was the name of John Deere's home in Illinois.  The wine is sourced from various locations around Sonoma County.  This is an outstanding value in Chardonnay.  They produce quite a bit of it yet manage to be very consistent from vintage to vintage and bottle to bottle.  It barrel fermented and spends 25% in new French oak.  The lees are stirred every two weeks as it goes thru full malolactic fermentation.  It is green/gold in color.  The nose is very nice with vanilla and peaches

2013 Adir Ben Zimra Plot Ninety Eight, Israel, Galilee, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$53.00USD

This is a "Port" styled wine made in Israel from 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Shiraz.  Made more in a tawny style but not quite.  It is very interesting an certainly good.  Deep brick red in color, clear and bright.  The nose has toffee, slight cassis and a bit nutty.  Full bodied and viscous.  On the palate, this is sweet but not overt.  Toffee, chocolate and raspberries.  Slight warmth on the finish.  This is Kosher.  It is hard to say how long this will last.  My guess is that it should be consumed over the next five years, but it might last much longer.  It went very well with pecan r

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