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2003 Frias Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Spring Mountain, Wine Review

From a Magnum.  Pretty etched bottle/label.  Purple in color.  The nose is dusty with cassis and a bit of rosemary.  On the palate, there is cassis with some plums on the finish.  This is deep and concentrated and seems to be drinking at about peak right now.  It starts out with tight layers in the glass and then opens very quickly.  Good finish.  Works well with heartier foods.  No hurry, but no reason to wait to open a bottle.  

2010 Fontodi Chianti Classico Vigna del Sorbo, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

In later vintages, this carries the Gran Selezione designation.  This is one of, if not the top Chianti.  It is better than most Brunellos.  Of course, it costs more than most Brunellos too.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  What a great nose.  A bit smokey with cherries, macerated cherries, some forest floor/tea leaves and slight spice.  Still tight and tannic on the palate.  It opens in the glass to show cherries, spice and black cherries.  This needs time for sure, maybe another three to five and it will be good for a decade or maybe two after that.  This is a great wine that can equal

2006 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut La Grande Dame, France, Wine Review

Silvery gold in color.  The nose has slight baked bread and slight citrus.  A nice head of lots of tiny bubbles.  On the palate, this is all about minerality and smoothness.  There is some citrus.  Great length on the finish.  This is incredibly versatile with food although hearty meats might be pushing it.  Great on its own as well.  Seems like this is a step up from the 2004.  

2014 K Vintners Syrah Klein, USA, Washington, Walla Walla, Wine Review

Deep ruby in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is dusty with black raspberries.  Good acidity.  On the palate there is nice boysenberry fruit.  Lots of fruit with an underlying char.  Good finish.  This is young and tight.  It comes across as more of a cooler climate Syrah.  It probably needs another five years to really strut its stuff and be good for a decade after that.  Lots of potential for upside here though it is excellent right now.  

2016 Denner Theresa, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

One of the great white Rhone wines from California.  50% Roussanne, 20% Grenache Blanc, 10% Vermentino, 10% Picpoul, 10% Marsanne.  Green gold in color.  The nose has slight limes with some citrus and slight wax.  On the palate, this has a wonderful plush texture with great crispness on the wine.  Deep and complex despite its youth, it unwinds in the glass.  Slightly oily.  Long finish.  Works with or without foods.  This will likely age well, but is so good now, I don't think it gets better, just different.  

2014 Keplinger Syrah Hangman's Hudson, USA, California, Carneros, Wine Review

95% Syrah, 5% Viognier.  Purple in color.  The nose is nice with black raspberries, leather, roasted meats, and black pepper.  Deep.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Black raspberries, char, black pepper along with some earthiness.  More lower tones (if that makes sense).  Good balance.  Kept opening up.  This has a long life left.  Needs bigger foods.  

2015 Carlisle Zinfandel Pagani Ranch Sonoma Valley, USA, California, Wine Review

Carlisle conitnues to pump out some of the best Zinfandels.  Period.  That they cost under $50 is even better.  Purple in color.  The nose is great with black raspberries, slight bramble, char and black cherries.  On the palate, the texture is wonderful; lush yet precise.  Lots of black rasberry and boysenberry fruit.  Depth.  Needs spicy or big foods.  Long finish.  Just a delicious wine.  

2014 Jaffurs Syrah, USA, California, Santa Barbara County, Wine Review

This is the basic Jaffurs Syrah.  It is one of the great values in warmer climate Syrah from California.  It typically retails for around $30.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is great with black raspberries, roasted meats, slight violets and black pepper.  On the palate, there is a nice energy.  Bright black raspberry fruit.  Underlying roasted meats and earthiness.  Great texture.  This drinks great on release and continues to improve for a decade.  Goes well with medium or heartier foods and especially Indian foods.  If you are not on this wineries mailing list, you should be

2014 Denner The Ditch Digger, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

60% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre, 5% Cinsault, 5% Counoise.  Inky purple in color.  The nose is great with black raspberries, leather, plums, slight earthiness, char and some black cherries.  On the palate, this has a wonderful rich texture.  Medium tannins.  It is young but bursting with fruit without being over the top.  Black cherries, black raspberries, underlying earthiness and char.  Long finish.  This is a big wine and needs either big or spicy food.  It is still probably 7 years from maturity and will last another 10 after that (at least).  That said, it is delicious and enjoy

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