2006 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2006
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$200.00USD

Shafer Hillside Select is one of the great wines in Napa and the world.  It is priced accordingly, but every once in a while, it is worth splurging on a bottle with friends.  This bottle was decanted for sediment (there was very little) and allowed to breathe in the cellar for four hours prior to consuming.  A magnificent showing for this wine from admittedly, not one of their best vintages.  Purple in color with some ruby hues to it.  The nose is wonderful with cassis, slight pencil lead, a bit of coffee grounds and a slight salinity.  On the palate, lots of cassis.  Deep with layers of gr

2013 Grgich Hills Chardonnay, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$35.00USD

This has come together nicely in the last few years.  It is drinking quite well now.  Slightly lighter golden in color.  The nose is nice.  There is still some obvious oak, but that is more about house style and it is not over the top.  Aromas of lemon cream and slight vanilla with a bit of baking spice.  Full bodied.  The lemon carries thru to the palate with a hint of vanilla.  No heat showing.  Good acidity.  There is some depth and development.  Nice finish.  Classic Napa Chardonnay.  This should still have five to ten more years left at peak.  It will go well with seafood, salads and m

2010 Hobel Wine Works Cabernet Sauvignon Engelhard Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Callistoga,Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$90.00USD

Nice to try a Hobel with some age on it.  This was purchased on release.  Still youthful though it is drinking well with a bit of air.  This was made by Thomas Rivers Brown.  Purple in color with some ruby swirls.  The nose is very nice with cassis, cedar, leather, and spice.  On the palate, this still has medium tannins.  cassis fruit with some underlying dry earthiness.  Good balance.  Nice finish.  It unwinds a bit in the glass showing some layering.  Overall, this is maturing nicely.  It won't get better but should keep maturing.  No hurry, this has at least another decade in it.  It wi

2015 Philip Togni Cabernet Sauvignon Tanbark Hill, USA, California, Napa, Spring Mountain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$56.00USD

Phillip Togni's wines often need a long period of cellaring before they are ready.  Not so with this one.  Although still young, it is drinking well and quite enjoyable right now.  Deep ruby with purple swirls in color.  The nose is pretty with cassis, cherries, and dust.  On the palate, this is soft with lighter tannins.  Plenty of black cherry fruit and some cassis.  Good finish.  This will go with a wider variety of foods than most Cabs and probably is helped by serving with food.  It should be enjoyed over the next decade.  

2014 Rivers-Marie Cabernet Sauvignon Corona Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$150.00USD

The home winery for winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown.  This Cabernet is exceptional if still young.  Deep purple in color.  The nose has plums, cassis, coffee and slight pencil lead.  On the palate, this is very concentrated.  Lots of cassis, some plums intertwined with some char and earth.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  Firm tannins.  This needs about five more years to sort things out and should be good for ten to twenty years after that.  It will go well with grilled meats and roasted fowl, meat or veggies.  It may still get a bit better.  

2013 Pott Wine Cabernet Sauvignon The Arsenal Greer Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Rutherford, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$190.00USD

This was the last vintage for this wine.  Rob Greer now makes his own eponymous label wines which are also excellent.  Purple in color.  The nose is wonderful with cassis, coffee, mocha and slight floral notes.  With air a bit of cedar comes out.  On the palate, this has a wonderful full bodied texture.  Lots of cassis with and underlying coffee grounds and earthiness.  Long finish.  This will still develop and may improve a bit.  it is drinking very well now as well.  Drinks great on its own but will work with a steak or roasted meats and veggies.  

2013 Realm Cellars The Tempest, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$125.00USD

OK, I have a confession to make.  I love Merlot.  There, I said it.  But, it has to be good.  Sometimes, because Merlot is so accessible young or so delicious, it gets short shrift when compared to Cabernet.  And don't get me started on the Sideways effect.  And yes, there is a lot of crap out there from all over the globe.  But, there is a lot of really great Merlot as well.  And, this is one.  Actually, it is 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Sauvignon.  Purple in color.  The nose shows black cherries, dark chocolate, cassis, leather, slight menthol and a bit of earth.  On the palate, the textu

2005 Outpost Cabernet Sauvignon True Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Howell Mountain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

A friend opened this bottle for me.  I believe this was their first release of this wine.  Although I believe Outpost is making better wines now than they were then, it was a pleasure and an insight into how well these wines can age.  This is drinking beautifully and still on the youthful side.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, black cherries, spice and slight dried floral notes.  On the palate, this is concentrated.  It has a wonderful texture.  Juicy black cherry fruit.  Long finish.  It still has some lighter tannins to resolve.  This will go well with medium and heavier foods.  It

2014 Maybach Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Materium, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
100
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$390.00USD

This is showing to be the equal of the 2007 and the best wine ever made by Thomas Rivers Brown which is no faint praise.  An exceptional bottle of wine that while young now is incredible and may still improve.  It will certainly evolve.  One can debate if a 100 point wine can get better on a philosophical basis.  There is no question that this is a 100 point wine now, so what happens if it does improve?  In any event, this is a shimmering, bright, opaque purple in color.  The nose has cassis, graphite, blueberries, cedar and starting to show a charred earth note.  On the palate, this is sea

2012 Bevan Cellars Ontogeny, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$190.00USD

Bevan Cellars makes some of the best wines anywhere but his Napa Cabs are very expensive.  So is this one, but it is half the price of the others and that makes this a great value in the rarefied air of top Napa Cabs.  On release, this was $95.  This is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Petit Verdot and 10% Cabernet Franc.

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