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2013 Rhys Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

This was very tight at first.  Probably should have decanted for an hour.  After a bit, it opened and was excellent.  Yellow/gold in color.  The nose is vanilla/lemon cream.  Although "Burgundian" certainly could be used, it is a pretty consistent nose from this vineyard.  On the palate, this has a creamy texture.  Nice lemon cream with a touch of vanilla and an underlying minerality.

2005 Domaine Huet Vouvray Demi-Sec Le Mont, France, Loire Valley, Wine Review

Deep golden in color.  The nose shows some slight oxidation but not a lot.  Some apple cider notes but also fresh pears.  On the palate, this is just barely sweet.  The apple cider carries thru as does the pears.  Good finish.  So the big question is whether this was a pristine bottle.  At age 13, it probably should have been a bit fresher.  On the other hand, it was varietally correct.  It seems this was close enough that it is within the variance of a 13 years old top Vouvray.   All in all, this should have been better but it was still very good.  

2012 Torrin Law Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Torrin is a winery we have been urging people to sign up for their mailing list for a while now.  And every year they keep ratcheting up the quality.  It was nice to go back six years to try this.  Probably not yet at maturity but past the baby stages and getting close.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper, char and slight roasted meats.  On the palate, this is big but concentrated and not exuberant.  Black raspberry fruit with underlying char.  It took some time to open but revealed and deep and complex wine.  Nice finish.  This needs big or spicy food but a

2012 Hobel Wine Works Cabernet Sauvignon Engelhard Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

2012 is such an interesting vintage.  An excellent one to be sure, but the wines were so open on release and they have slowly closed over time.  This one was tight and really needed a few hours of air to open up and show its stuff.  Purple in color with some ruby swirls.  The nose is great.  Very concentrated cassis, spice, leather and slight black cherries.  On the palate, this is again quite concentrated.  It opens in the glass with plenty of cassis.  Medium tannins.  A fair amount of oak/spice still left.  This probably needs five more years of good cellaring to hit its peak.  Will work

2015 Schoffit Gewurztraminer Rangen de Thann Clos St.-Théobald, France, Alsace, Wine Review

What a delicious wine.  Golden in color.  The nose is gorgeous with lychees, and slight canned peaches in heavy syrup.  On the palate, this is viscous.  Slightly sweet but not dessert level.  Honey and peaches with good acidity.  Would work great with spicy foods.  Long finish.  This is sweet enough to not please though who insist on dry wines, but for those more varied in their tastes, this is delicious.  Young, this drank better on day 2.  It does have a touch of a bitterness that one sometimes finds in Gewurztraminer.  Enough to notice, not enough to mar the flavors of enjoyment.  This r

2010 Domaine Jean-Claude Marsanne St. Joseph, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has a lot of funk/barnyard.  Some blows off with air but not all.  There is also some boysenberry fruit, leather and slight bacon fat.  On the palate, this is drinking well.  Probably at or close to maturity.  Boysenberry layered with damp earth.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  This needs heartier foods to work with.  No hurry but probably should be drunk in the next five to seven years.  

2007 Saxum James Berry Vineyard

What an amazing wine.  One of the GREAT wines of the 21st century so far.  Certainly in contention for the best!  Yes, that is how good it is.  Still youthful, it is starting to round into maturity but not quite.  Purple in color.  The nose is intoxicating.  One of those wines you could sniff all night without even sipping.  Black raspberries, decayed meats (in a good way), roasted meats, slight bacon fact, white pepper and violets.  On the palate, this is seamless.  Juicy black raspberries, layers of fruit, charred earth, leather.  Some spice.  Lots of energy and almost weightless yet powe

2007 Saxum Broken Stones, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Purple in color.  The nose is intense with black raspberries, charred meat and black pepper.  On the palate, this is tight and concentrated.  Pin point black raspberries with underlying char.  It opens a bit in the glass.  Very deep, with air it unwinds in the glass.  Not opulent but by no means shy either.  Good finish.  Needs big or spicy foods but great on its own.  Lots of alcohol but not noticeable in the wine.  



2007 Saxum Heart Stone Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

2007 was the best vintage for Saxum up to now.  And, that is saying a lot.  This was just stunning.  It is in a great place right now, but, depending on the bottle, not quite at peak.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, roasted meats, black cherries, slight cedar and spice and bits of plums and peppers.  On the palate, this is lively yet weightless.  Almost seamless.  Delicious with energetic black raspberries, black cherries and underlying charred meats.  Long finish.  Great with heavier or spicy foods.  Each sip makes one want another.