Cuvaison 2022 Pinot Noir Debut Cru

Vintage: 
2022
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

Cuvaison’s Small Lot program (typically wines produced under 300 cases) has been a goldmine for Cuviason and winemaker Steve Rogstad who shows his deft touch with nearly every wine in this portfolio. Using Pinot Noir heirloom clones (including Swan, a personal favorite of mine) this is clearly a step away from most Pinot Noir on the market. This drinks more Burgundian than California. The fruit is rather muted but more macerated (Steve calls it “elegant intensity”) and the support comes from the green tea leaf, light tobacco, earthy morel, dried thyme and spice notes.

2019 Rivers-Marie Cabernet Sauvignon Panek Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$250.00USD

Obviously young, this needs some time but will be great.  Inky purple in color, shimmering bright and opaque.  The nose has cassis, roasted herbs, graphite and slight chocolate.  Full bodied.  Very firm tannins.  Good balance.  On the palate, this is concentrated and tight.  Cassis, char and slight chocolate.  Long finish.  This needs another three to five years and then should drink well for twenty after that.  No doubt its score will improve by a few points at least.  Better on its own at his point, but it would work with a grilled steak.  

2016 Rivers-Marie Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$250.00USD

This  may be my favorite vineyard that Rivers Marie utilizes.  A Wow wine.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with cassis, graphite, dark chocolate, spice and char.  Full bodied.  Firm tannins.  Great energy.  On the palate, this is young but complex and deep.  Also delicious.  Flavors of cassis, chocolate and spice with some leather and char.  Long finish.  This should continue to develop and maybe improve.  It should drink well for another twenty years.  Great on its own, this needs big food right now, but brisket or Rib Roast should work well.  

2020 Sandlands White Table Wine Napa Valley, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+

This is a blend of 67% Chenin Blanc and 33% Semillon from Napa Valley.  Very pale golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose is nice with a touch of red apples, orange rind and minerality.  Also a bit of wax.  Good balance.  On the palate, the minerality stands out.  Some apple notes.  Good finish.  This is a nice, lighter styled white wine that works well with lighter foods.  A nice wine with a Quiche.  Drink over the next five to eight years.  

Cuvaison 2022 Chardonnay, Kite Tail

Vintage: 
2022
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$70.00USD

Kite Tail has always been a very expressive Chardonnay and this iteration is no exception. It deviates from traditional Chardonnay and delves into richer, more mature elements. What’s surprising then is that this iteration has less oak and less malolactic time than previous versions. Yet this still retails a wonderful acidity, character and aroma, not to mention a palate experience that brings in oak-like notes, without the cumbersome oak heaviness. All estate grown, all Chardonnay, this offers a nose of soft muted lemon, resin and butterscotch/gardenia.

2011 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select, USA, California, Napa, Stags Leap District, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$230.00USD

There is an old saying that great wineries make great wine even in off vintages.  That is undoubtedly true and this is yet another example.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with cassis, graphite, slight leather, spice and char.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  Great energy.  On the palate, this is deep, complex and delicious.  Perhaps maturing a bit quicker than better vintages.  At age 13 it is nearing peak.  Loads of cassis with some tobacco and char.  Long finish.  This is great on its own and will work well with most non-seafood dishes.  It went great with a P

2018 Trefethen Cabernet Sauvignon HãLo Hillspring Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Oak Knoll, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$210.00USD

This is Trefethen's top wine.  Trefethen, as a winery, dates back to 1973.  The wine is middle of the road in terms of style for a Napa Cab.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with cassis, black cherries, slightly woody, spice and slight roasted coffee.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  Good balance.  On the palate, this is tasty.  Flavors of black cherries, cassis and spice.  Long finish.  This is nice on its own and very food friendly (probably not seafood).  It went well with a couple of homemade veggie pizzas.  Drink over the next ten years.

2014 Bevan Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Tench Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$270.00USD

Gorgeous wine.  Tench vineyard shares a border with Screaming Eagle (a bit of name dropping).  This wine was huge on release and while still fruit forward, at age 10, it is drinking wonderfully.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is deep and complex with cassis, blueberries, sandalwood, slight soy sauce with earthiness and char.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  Lush texture.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Flavors of cassis, blueberries, black cherries, spice and char.  Deep and complex.  Long finish.  This will drink beautifully for another twenty years.  Great on its own, t

2011 Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$150.00USD

This is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Malbec, and 8% Petite Verdot.  Purple in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, fresh herbs, cedar, leather and char.  Nice texture.  Medium tannins.  Good balance.  On the palate, this is nice.  Good fruit.  Black cherries, cassis, with some earthiness.  Good finish. This seems about at peak but should drink well for another seven to ten years.  Nice on its own, this will work with most (non-seafood) foods.  

2018 Calla Lily Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Ultimate Red, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$70.00USD

A bit surprisingly, while still a nice wine, this lagged a bit behind both the 2017 and the 2019.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, slight cedar, and spice.  Full bodied.  Firm tannins.  On the palate, this drinks easy but doesn't have the expected depth.  Good finish.  It is a nice wine and will work well with heavier foods.  Beef Ragu would work nicely.  Drink over the next five to eight years.  

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