2014 Saxum Paderewski Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Willow Creek, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$140.00USD

From Magnum.  This is a blend of 30% Mourvedre, 22% Zinfandel, 13% Syrah, 13% Tempranillo, 12% Grenache, and 10% Petite Sirah.  The bottle was opened for air for around 24 hours prior to serving.  Drank over two nights, it was consistent both nights.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries, plums, black raspberries, cherries, gravel, black pepper and floral notes.  Crazy good and complex.  Full bodied and full throttle.  On the palate, all of those purple and red fruits seem to come out with underlying minerality and gravel.  Juicy acidity.  15.9% ABV but no s

2012 Alban Vineyards Syrah Reva Alban Estate Vineyard, USA, California, Edna Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$140.00USD

John Alban is one of the pioneers of the California Rhone wine movement and he is still at the top of his game.  Inky purple in color, magenta at the rim.  An amazing nose with black raspberries, graphite and a bit of funky earthiness.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Lush.  Black raspberry fruit with underlying char.  Long finish.  Just starting to show some maturity.  This ill go another ten to fifteen years with no trouble.  Great on its own, this will work well with spicy foods.  

2016 Downstream, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$200.00USD

This is a wine made by Rhone wine consultant Philippe Cambie and Saxum’s Justin Smith.  It is a blend of 76% Zinfandel, 8% Syrah, 6% Mataró, 6% Petite Sirah, and 4% Tempranillo.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, slight bramble, dust, black cherries and spice.  On the palate, this is full bodied.  Delicious.  Serious tannins.  Black raspberries, plums and spices over a gravelly bed.  Long finish.  Pop and pour, this was drinking great from the start.  It's hard to say how well this well age.  The label says 16.1% abv but there is no heat.  Still, at t

2015 Denner Theresa, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

One of my favorite Cal Rhone White wines.  I really need to let one of these age.  At age 5, this one is singing right from popping the cork.  It is a blend of 30% Roussane, 25% Marsanne, 20% Grenache Blanc, 15% Picpoul, and 10% Vermentino.  Light golden in color.  The nose has peach, melon, slight vanilla candle, minerals and lime pith.  Full bodied.  This has a big mouthfeel.  Not quite viscous, but a strong presence.  Notes of peach, vanilla and wax with great underlying minerality.  A nice touch of acidity to keep things bright.  Depth and complexity.  Nice finish.  This is drinking you

2018 Belle Glos Pinot Noir Clark & Telephone Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Maria Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$35.00USD

This is a huge, dark Pinot Noir.  Lovers of Burgundy should at least be forewarned if not directed away.  That said, to those looking for a bit dark, fruity wine, this is delicious.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries, black raspberries, baking spices and a bit of licorice.  Full bodied.  Juicy texture.  On the palate, juicy black raspberry fruit.  Very primary although it will no doubt develop over the next five to seven years.  Light tannins.  This drinks nicely on its own and would work with bold spicy foods.  Drink now thru 2028.  

2011 Saxum Heart Stone Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$95.00USD

During this period of "Stay Home", it helps to every once in a while open something really good.  Even during the middle of the week (to the extent I can keep track of what day it is).  The 2011 Saxum's are drinking beautifully.  That vintage seems to be maturing a bit faster than most.  This is a blend of 58% Syran, 27% Grenache and 5% Mourvedre.  inky purple in color with a thin magenta line at the rim.  The nose is great with black raspberries, black cherries, roasted meats, dried floral notes and slight chocolate.  On the palate, this has a lovely texture.  Rich but not overblown.  Smoo

2017 Bedrock Wine Co. Riesling Wirz Vineyard, USA, California, Central Coast, Cienega Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

This is an interesting take on Rielsing.  Light golden/yellow in color.  The nose has an interesting citrus quality with a bit of sea air.  On the palate, this is medium bodied.  Dry.  It is mostly about the minerality/salinity on the palate.  Somewhat concentrated.  Consumed over three nights, it was at its best on night 2.  Not the most expressive Riesling but very enjoyable.  It is very food friendly and will work with almost any food.  Fired chicken would be a great pairing.  Drink now and for at least ten to twelve years.  

2018 Hess Central Coast Pinot Noir, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$19.00USD

This is a value drive Pinot Noir from one of the longtime California wineries.  Ruby in color with slight purple swirls.  On the nose this has cherries, sour cherries, slight hay/earthiness to it.  On the palate, this is ripe, slightly sweet Pinot Noir.  Big cherry fruit.  A bit of underlying cola flavors.  A soft texture.  Light tannins.   Slight bitter note on the finish.

2015 Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

Tablas Creek has some great levels of wine clubs which offer up wines not available outside the winery or in different formats.  This one is easily available although this particular bottle was from a 375ml bottle ($25).  It is a blend of 49% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache, 21% Syrah, and 5% Counoise.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  A lovely nose of black raspberries, raspberries, spice and anise.  On the palate, this has firm tannins but the fruit is open and drinking well.  Juicy black raspberries, raspberries, over a clean dry earthiness with just a touch of char.  This is a big wine but no

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