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2013 Pakravan Papi Montescudaio Campo del Pari, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Reason to check out the sales bin at grocery stores and talk with the managers.  This is an Italian (Tuscan) Merlot marked down from $45 to $30.  Is it amazing?  No.  Is it a nice value and a chance to try a new wine?  Yes.  Purple in color.  The nose has plums, slight chocolate and cherries.  On the palate, this is not real ripe.  Plums, black cherries with underlying hay and dry forest floor.  Decent acidity.  Nice finish.  Food friendly.  Easy drinking with a bit of depth.  

2016 Rhys Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

From a 375ml bottle.  What a great size for a couple of glasses of white wine before moving on to reds.  More wineries should produce these and also 500ml.  Green gold in color.  This is young but already showing a lot.  The nose has vanilla and lemon curd.  On the palate, great acidity.  The lemon curd is strong with lighter vanilla notes.  Lovely texture.  Long finish.  This wine is very food friendly but also will drink well on its own.  It should improve over the next few years. 

2010 Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

This retailed for under $30 so it was a fine value.  Though the vintage was exceptional this is not a great wine, but certainly solid.  Ruby in color.  The nose has some cherries and a bit of spice.  On the palate, the cherries continue.  A bit tart and a bit light.  No tannins.  I doubt this gets better.  It should work well enough at the dinner table with most foods.  

2015 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River, Wine Review

This is in a great spot right now.  It is still youthful and rambunctious but has calmed a bit since release.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has raspberries, slight strawberries with underlying coffee grounds.  On the palate, this is juicy with a great texture.  Delicious.  Raspberries with underlying char.  Clean.  Will work with spicy or heavier foods.  This should evolve over the next decade, but this style will fade in a year or so to be a kinder gentler wine.  Its good right now.  

2016 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Limerick Lane, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

One of the better single vineyard Bedrock Zinfandels.  While this could age well for a decade or more, there is something about the energy and fruit of consuming them young.  It just depends on what you like.  Purple in color.  The nose is great with black raspberries, black cherries, spice and bramble.  On the palate, there is some black raspberry but a bit of strawberry in the back ground.  Underlying some smoke/fireworks.  Great texture.  Delicious wine that makes it hard not to gulp.  This will work with BBQ, meat dishes or pizza and roasted vegetables.  Think fun.  But if this is not y

2015 Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

This was a gift.  Sadly, when I opened the foil, it was clear the wine had leaked as the top of the cork was soaked and stained.  On removing the cork, it could be seen that the wine had leaked out of both sides of the cork.  This is a telltale sign of heat damage.  The wine itself had stewed fruits.  It seemed roasted.  It is possible that this is what a pristine bottle would taste like but I doubt it.  A shame.  its impossible to tell where in the retail cycle the damage happened but had I bought it, it would certainly have been returned.  This wine retails for about $45; a price that I a

2010 Joseph Phelps Insignia Proprietary Red Wine, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

This is made from 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot and the rest Merlot and Malbec.  Insignia is one of the First Growth wines of California.  Its great just about every vintage and has been for decades.  This one is no exception.  Inky purple.  The nose has cassis, graphite, blueberries, leather and cigar box.  On the palate, this is still young.  Medium tannins.  Great balance.  Lots of cassis and some blueberries with underlying damp forest floor.  Long finish.  Delicious.  Will work great with heartier foods and certainly with meat dishes.  The price on these is up to around $250

2006 Hundred Acre Vineyard Shiraz Summer's Block Ancient Way, Australia, Barossa, Wine Review

One of the better Shiraz out there.  At 12 years from vintage, this was in a beautiful place.  It is still youthful and will easily go another decade or more.  Inky purple in color. The nose has black raspberries, iodine, black pepper, violets and slight grilled meats. On the palate, this has a lovely texture; glycerin and full bodied but with good acidity that cuts through.  Lots of black raspberry fruit, light tannins and underlying minerality.  Worked well with food.  Nice finish.  Proof that at least some of the huge Shiraz bombs will stand the test of time.  

2011 Au Sommet Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Atlas Peak, Wine Review

This is a blend of 97.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2.5% Petit Verdot from Heidi Barrett.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, slight smoke, bell pepper and tobacco.  On the palate, this is nice and everything is in proportion.  Not a lot of depth.  Tannins mostly resolved.  Worked well with vegetarian stuffed mushrooms.  A fine wine but its price tag on release was $250.  Granted 2011 was a difficult vintage, but that is a lot of money for this wine.