Kosta Browne 2021 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir, Gary’s Vineyard

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$175.00USD

What’s unusual about this iteration of Pinot from Kosta Browne is that it really straddles the line between an earthy mineral driven Pinot noir, and a more traditional California style of bright strawberry and bright red fruits. Perhaps that’s no surprise as the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA has enough diverse soils to produce intriguing fruit and diurnal swings due to its close proximity to the Pacific Ocean. This Pinot works and works very well.

2020 Saxum White James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Willow Creek, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$185.00USD

This is a very serious white from "Rhone" varietal producer, Saxum on California's Central coast.  One of the best white wines in the world being produced today.  It is a blend of 53% Grenache Blanc, 29% Roussanne, 15% Chenin Blanc, and 3% Chardonnay.  Light to medium gold in color, clear and bright.  The nose is great.  Enticing and complex.

2018 TH Estate Wines 5 Blocks Cuvée, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

From Terry Hoage, this is a blend of 66% Syrah, 23% Mourvèdre and 11% Grenache.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is deep with black raspberries, roasted meats, black pepper, black cherries and spice.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, this has big fruit; black raspberries, black cherries, black pepper and char.  Good energy.  Long finish.  This is drinking well on its own and will work with bigger food flavors.  It went well with spicy Indian style food.  Drink over the next ten years.  

2013 Torrin James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Willow Creek, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+

This is a 50/50 blend of Grenache and Syrah from one of the truly great vineyards in California.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with black raspberries, some black cherries, black pepper, spice, roasted meats and herbs.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  Great energy and acidity.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Not quite at peak but mature.  Flavors of black raspberries and black cherries with some spice, minerality and char.  Long finish.  Drink over the next ten years.  Great on its own, this went well with a bowl of vegetarian Chili.  

2022 Alban Vineyards Viognier Sarments, USA, California, Central Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2022
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$39.00USD

I wish I knew more about this wine.  I loved it!  Alban makes (not counting this), two different Viogniers.  They make and estate Viognier and a Central Coast Viognier.  Both are labeled as Viognier.  This one is neither of those two.  It carries the additional labelling as Sarments.  The word means cutting or scion, so I assume these vines were propagated from other vines somewhere...  Anyway, I like the Alban Estate Viognier but don't love it.  I prefer Viognier more like a Condrieu which is a region making Viognier in the Rhone Valley in France.  I would like to say the difference is in

2012 Saxum Heart Stone Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$125.00USD

This is a blend of 43% Syrah, 41% Grenache, and 16% Mourvedre.  15.1% abv.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is complex and strong with black raspberries, blueberries, black cherries, roasted meats and herbs, and char.  Full bodied.  Plush texture.  Great acidity.  On the palate, this is still young at age 12.  Juicy black raspberries with blueberries and black pepper.  Long finish.  Delicious.  This is great on its own and will require bigger foods.  It would be great with a hearty beef or vegetable stew.  Drink over the next ten to fifteen years.  

2015 Torrin Akasha, USA, California, Paso Robles, Willow Creek, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$90.00USD

This is 100% Syrah.  Torrin wines are big, bold wines that really need at least a decade in most vintages to really come around for my tastes.  That said, at age 9, this was singing.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, smoked meats, slight bacon fat, black pepper and violets.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  Great energy.  On the palate, black raspberries, char, some blueberries and some minerality.  Long finish.  This is great on its own, but even at age 9 will be a difficult food pairing.  A nice BBQ Brisket would work.  Drink over the next ten to fif

2019 Levo Syrah 22 Tango, USA, California, Central Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

This is a blend of 89% Syrah and 11% Graciano from the Central Coast of California.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper and roasted meats and herbs.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, this is drinking well.  Flavors of black raspberries with some pepper.  Good finish.  This is riper in style but not to an extreme.  It should drink well for another ten years.  Nice on its own, this will work well with hearty foods such as Roasted Acorn Squash.  

2019 Daou Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Cabernet "Soul of a Lion", USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$140.00USD

While not their "top" wine, this is an ultra premium Cabernet that is on par with Napa or any other Cabernets at this price level.  It is a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Petit Verdot.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is open and enticing.  Cassis, black raspberries, cigar box, chocolate, spice and char.

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