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2013 Saxum Cuvée Rocket Block James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

From Magnum.  Consumed over 4 days, it was probably best on day 3 and day 4.  100% Grenache.  16.4% Alcohol and not noticeable.  Purple in color.  The nose has cherries, dark cherries, some coffee grounds, spice and slight floral notes.  On the palate, this is not as big of a wine as expected.  Wonderful seamless texture.  Delicious.  Dark cherries, cherries, spice along with light tannins.  Long finish.  Will work with a wide variety of foods.  This is still quite young and has a few more years until maturity and a good decade or more after that.  One of the top examples of California Gren

2014 Sine Qua Non Syrah Piranha Waterdance, USA, California, Wine Review

81% Syrah, 8% Petite Sirah, 6% Mourvèdre, 4% Touriga Nacional and 1% Graciano.  Inky purple in color.  This is very different for an SQN wine.  It does have 15.8% Alc but there is no sign of that.  The nose has black raspberries, blueberries, some roasted meats and herbs and black pepper.  On the palate, this is almost elegant.  It has a refined quality but also the intensity and concentration one expects.  Black raspberry and blueberry fruit on the palate with underlying coffee grounds and char.  Great texture.  Long finish.  This is still quite young and has some upside even as good as it

2014 K Vintners Syrah Powerline Estate, USA, Washington, Walla Walla, Wine Review

Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper and violets.  On the palate, this is almost seamless.  Black raspberry fruit, some black pepper.  Great juicy but lush texture.  Complex.  Long finish.  Needs big or spicy foods but there is enough acidity to handle them.  This is delicious and so easy to drink now, but should continue to mature for another 5 to 7 years and be good for at least a decade after that.  

2010 Quintessa, USA, California, Napa, Rutherford, Wine Review

Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is nice with cherries, cassis and chocolate.  Also some dustiness.  On the palate, this is very elegant.  Not the big fruit bomb I was expecting.  Cassis, layered with chocolate and char.  Great texture.  Nice balance.  Good finish.  Will work with a wide variety of foods.  Seems to still be youthful.  There might be some upside but it is delicious now.  

1997 Viader Proprietary Red, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Cabernet Franc.  Purple in color.  The nose is dusty with cassis, tobacco, and slight cherries.  On the palate, this has cassis and cedar over some tobacco and clay.  Nicely layered, this wine is drinking great right now.  Another Napa Cab that drinks like older Bordeaux with some years.  If you like mature wines, this is at peak, if you like fruit powerhouses, this is past.  It is balanced and very food friendly.  Drink up.  

1997 Opus One, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, tobacco, it is slightly dusty and cedar.  On the palate, this still has some tannins left and plenty of fruit but is fully mature.  Cassis with some black olives.  This seems like a good bottle.  There is a nice complexity to it.  Very smooth.  Very food friendly.  Blind, i think most people would guess mature Bordeaux.  Of course, with a wine of this pedigree, there is always a lot of anticipation, but I think this is probably the wine producers were trying to  make back in 1997.  It succeeds at that if a very different wine from most 1997's.  

2012 Alexander Valley Vineyards Cyrus, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 3% Petite Verdot, 2% Malbec.  Purple in color, slight ruby at the rim.  The nose is dusty and warm with cassis and spice.  Soft texture.  Good acidity.  Nice cassis fruit with an underlying earthiness.  Some plums on the finish.  Nicely layered, it unwinds in the glass.  It seems open but then keeps on opening more.  Still some upside here.  

2010 Clos du Mont-Olivet Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Cuvée du Papet, France, Rhone, Wine Review

This has really come into its own and is drinking quite well right now.  Still youthful and not yet at peak though.  Purple in color.  The nose is bigger and excellent with cherries, violets, black olives, black raspberries, slightly meaty and spice.  On the palate, this is primary but deep.  it starts to open in the glass but still needs a few more years.  Lots of concentrated black raspberry fruit, cherries with just a bit of earth and spice.  Nice balance.  Long finish.  It needs heartier foods right now but should last for another 12 to 15 years at least.  

2007 Clos du Mont-Olivet Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Cuvée du Papet, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Ruby in color, purple at the core.  The nose has cherries and black olives.  With air some black raspberries come out along with a bit of spice.  On the palate, this has a great texture.  This bottle seems like it is at or perhaps ever so slightly past peak (of course bottles vary).  nice complexity with layers of cherries, raspberries and spice with a slight dry earthiness.  Great balance.  It has an elegance that many 2007's do not have.  Great with foods of all kinds.  

1961 Château Montrose, France, Bordeaux, St. Estephe, Wine Review

Older wines can be a crap shoot.  At the same time, it's always a privilege to get to try them and to accept what they have to offer.  This was not a perfect bottle but it was quite good.  The color is great.  Mostly deep ruby/purple with a bit of lightening at the rim but not really bricking.  The nose is very nice if showing a bit of an oxidized note.  Slightly meaty with some cassis and tobacco.  A bit of funk.  In short - old Bordeaux.  On the palate, there is some cassis and cherry fruit.  The acidity is pronounced at this point but not intolerable (depending on your tastes).  Food cer