2015 Venge Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Family Reserve, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$150.00USD

So, Nils Venge has been making great wine in Napa for decades.  This is a family project and his son Kurt makes the wine.  IIRC, this is my first time trying this wine and it was amazing.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has cassis, cedar, smoke and the slightest graphite note.  On the palate, this is one of those wine with so much energy it seems every sip is a bit different than the last.  Of course, it is young and that will probably change as it settles down.  Firm tannins at the moments.  Juicy cassis fruit with some underlying char.  Clean with great balance.  Long finish.  This would

2011 Kapcsándy Family Winery Rapszodia, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$200.00USD

Kapcsandy makes some of the best wines in Napa (and the world).  This one is a bit less well known.  It is a blend of 62% Cabernet Franc and 38% Merlot (so think the Cheval Blanc of Napa).  2011 was a difficult vintage but this wine is outstanding if perhaps not as good as the following vintages.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, cigar tobacco and just a hint of bell pepper.  On the palate, this has a wonderful texture.  It is a bit more demur than typical Kapcsandy bottles, but it is drinking quite well.  Black cherry fruit with an underlying earthy/tobacco quality.  Light ta

2013 Maybach Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Amoenus, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$200.00USD

Maybach makes some of the greatest wines in the world.  Their flagship 2013 Materium was my WOTN in 2018.  This is from a different vineyard and was also spectacular.  Now, this is an expensive wine which sold for around $160 on release.  For that money, it should deliver.  The fact though is, at the rarefied top end of Napa Cabernet's, this is not comparatively over priced.  Consumed over two nights, it was better on night 2.  If opening a bottle soon, a decant of a few hours will be well rewarded.  Purple in color, shimmering bright.  The nose is gorgeous.  Cassis, slight blueberries, tob

2011 Groth Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$70.00USD

Groth Reserve is one of the historically great Cabernet's from Napa.  2011 was a difficult vintage but, at least for the Reserve, Groth managed to make a great wine. Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, cedar, and green bell pepper.  While some might not like that green pepper note, other's will enjoy the classic version of an old school cab.  On the palate, there is nice black cherry fruit along with a bit of green pepper and also some cedar.  Medium tannins.  This should improve over the next few years with a point or two of upside.  

2012 Calla Lily Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Audax, USA, California, Napa, Pope Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$120.00USD

This is the high end Cabernet from Calla Lily.  It is a step up from the regular bottling.  It retails for around $120.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, toast, spice and vanilla.  On the palate, the oak is strong on this one.  There is also firm tannins.  Plenty of cassis fruit but the question is whether the fruit will out last the tannins and the oak.  It is a tight ball right bow, but a quite delicious tight ball.  It will be interesting to see where this goes from here.  

2013 Calla Lily Estate Ultimate Red Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Pope Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$65.00USD

This is a reasonably priced Cabernet from the Pope Valley, one of the less heralded places in the Napa Valley.  It is a very solid and enjoyable Cabernet.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, sandalwood and slight black cherries.  On the palate, this is easy drinking.  Some depth.  Light tannins.  Nice black cherry and cassis fruit.  Good finish.  A nice wine for a dinner party.  It sells for around $65 at the winery, but can often be found for a bit less in stores.  

1992 Dominus Estate Napanook Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1992
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$179.00USD

Ho fortunate to be able to taste this wine again.  This was opened at a friend's birthday party and as you might expect, it went quickly.  Luckily for me, they made sure I got a glass!  The 92 is often overlooked between the 91 and 94 (and even the 93), but 1992 was a very good year too.  The 92 is drinking quite well right now if starting to show a bit of age.  Garnet in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose takes one to Bordeaux.  Gorgeous combination of cassis, tobacco, slight dust and slight leather with just a hint of dried fruits.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Layers of cassis over

1978 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1978
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

This was a Six Liter Methuselah bottle of wine.  The cork came out in one piece with the use of a Durand.  It was soaked up the sides but did not leak.  The bottle was sampled right away and then over the next few hours.  Purple/ruby in color.  It looked to be about ten or fifteen years old (not 41).  The nose was initially muted, but with air this had some cassis and black cherries, some dried fruit, dust, cedar and a slight funk.  With air, it got younger for the first hour and then plateaued.  On the palate, this still has a nice freshness to it.  There is some age showing but not a whol

2016 Pott Wine Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

Aaron Pott has been making great wine in the Napa Valley for a while now.  Understandably, as the high critics scores have rolled in, the prices have crept up.  While this bottle is not cheap (around $75), it is a lot less than the Pott single vineyard wines.  Since I had never had one, my wife and I decided to open one young and drink it over a couple of days.  The result is this is an outstanding wine and should age nicely for a more than a decade.  Bright purple in color with some ruby swirls.  The nose has nice cassis with a fair amount of char and spice.  On day 2, the oak blended more

2016 Flora Springs Merlot, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$29.99USD

Despite what you may think, Sideways didn't kill the California Merlot market as much as it made Pinot Noir stylish.  There are still some fine Merlots being made.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has a nice chocolate covered cherry quality to it.  Some spice as well.  On the palate, this takes about thirty minutes of air to open and then drinks very well.  It is more expressive (right now) on the palate with milk chocolate covered cherries and a nice vanilla streak.  Not candied as much as liqueur notes.  Good balance.  Nice finish.  This drinks very well on its own and would b

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