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.

2008 Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve, USA, California, Napa, Conn Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$120.00USD

Conn Valley is slightly out of the way in the Napa Valley, but this winery continues to make great wines at fair prices.  It was nice to be able to try one with a bit of age on it.  I had last tried this wine on release and from Magnum when it was more about potential.  That potential has been (mostly) realized.  There will be further development but it is close to maturity.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, slight black raspberries, a bit of cedar and spice.  On the palate, this is very concentrated.  Not a fruit bomb, but certainly of Napa.  Lots of cassis and black raspberries over

2005 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$100.00USD

This is just starting to get where it is going but should easily have two decades left.  Deep ruby in color with some purple swirls.  The nose is great with cassis, tobacco, dark chocolate and slight pencil lead.  On the palate, this has a wonderful texture.  Juicy cassis flavors intertwined with a slight earthiness a char.  It unwinds in the glass.  Pop and pour, it would be better served with a slow ox or decant.  It will go well with a wide range of food.  

2010 Roy Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$150.00USD

My first time trying this wine.  It is made by Philippe Melka.  93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot.   2010 was a hit or miss vintage but this is quite good.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has cassis, blueberries, and coffee.  On the palate, this is drinking well.  Plenty of black raspberries and blueberries.  Lush texture.  Not a lot of acidity but enough to work with food.  Good finish.  This is not a fruit bomb and its not intense, more middle of the road in style.  Very enjoyable.  It should probably be consumed in the next five to seven years though it undoubtedly will still be d

2018 Flora Springs Sauvignon Blanc Soliloquy, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

This is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc (44%), Chardonnay (41%), Malvasia (10%), and Pinot Gris(5%).  The name comes from a proprietary clone of Sauvignon Blanc that Flora Springs utilizes in the Crossroads vineyard.   It is an interesting white that really needs some air when opening.  Silvery/green in color with pale yellow/gold.  On opening the oak is dominant and that did not work well.  Of course, this is just being released and that will cure itself.  In any event, patience is rewarded.  After about an hour of breathing the tropical fruit came out.  A slight bit of grassiness, in a good wa

2015 Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

 This is a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc.  This is a very nice value in Napa Cabernet.  They also make a Reserve which is a bit better but a lot more expensive.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose shows cassis, a bit of coffee, slight anise, and spice.  On the palate, this is soft but still has enough structure to hang the fruit on.  Good balance.  Cassis with an earthy/tobacco underneath.  Good finish.  This will work well with a wide variety of foods.  It may improve still but certainly should last another seven to ten years.   

2016 Hourglass HG III, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

This is a red blend that is 48% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the rest Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah.  It is a delicious wine that is drinking well but will likely improve with some cellar time.  Deep ruby in color with some purple at the core.  The nose shows black raspberries, cherries, dark chocolate, spice and cigar box.  On the palate, this is medium to full bodied.  Moderate tannins.  Lots of cherries, black cherries and also some plums over char and tobacco.  Nice finish.  This will work well with bigger foods and certainly a burger on the grill would be great.  Drin

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