2014 Realm Cellars The Bard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Realm is at the top of their game, making some of the best wines in the world.  This is one of my favorites though expensive, it is doable unlike so many of the top luxury wines.  Purple in color.  The nose is great with cassis, pencil lead, cedar and spice.  On the palate a wonderful juicy almost seamless texture.  Deep, if tightly packed.  It drinks deliciously now but really won't peak for ten or fifteen years (depending on how you like them).  Juicy black raspberries, char and slight earth open in the glass.  Long finish.  Gorgeous wine.  Can a wine be worth $125?  It depends, but this

2012 Detert Family Vineyards Cabernet Franc Oakville, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

From the heart of the historic To Kalon vineyard on the Napa Valley floor.  This is made in limited quantities although they also make an even more limited version.  This is $80 which is pretty fair for one of the best Cab Francs that Napa produces.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, slight cigar box, and some anise.  On the palate, this is young but drinking well.  Black cherries, some cherries, forest floor and spice layered in the glass.  Medium tannins.  Good balance.  Nice finish.  Certainly some upside to this as this should mature and age for another decade or more.  

2016 Orin Swift Mannequin, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

This is a big Chardonnay that is not for everyone.  For those who like buttery, oaked Chardonnay, they will love this.  Light golden in color.  The nose has lemon curd, fresh cut lumber, butter and spice.  On the palate, there are some searing oak tannins to deal with.  Also some nice lemon fruit.  Good acidity.  This is probably not a great food match, but lots of people would love this on its own.  For my tastes, the oak is a bit too pronounced.  That said, a small glass was enjoyable.  

2009 Lagier Meredith Mondeuse Noir, USA, California, Napa Valley, Wine Review

Mondeuse is a bit of a different grape typically found in the French Alps region of Jura.  This is a version grown in the mountain sunshine of the Napa Valley of California which gives it a bit more ripeness while retaining the depth.  At 9 years from vintage, this is still youthful but in a good drinking window.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, tart cherries, slight floral notes and lots of minerality.  On the palate, this is more about tart cherries and minerality.  With air, it gains weight but the profile is the same.  No tannins to speak of.  Good with food.  Nice fin

2014 Carlisle Zinfandel Hayne Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

One of my favorite vineyards from one of my favorite wineries.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, black raspberries, some bramble and a bit pf pepper.  Wonderful texture.  Lush but with great energy.  Deep but unwinds in the glass.  Juicy deliciousness.  Black raspberry and black cherry fruit.  Slight tannins.  This will last another decade, but why?  It is so unique and great now.  

2008 The Mastiff Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa Valley, Wine Review

This is a wine produced by the now defunct Crushpad from their purchased grapes.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, dark cherries with a fair amount of oak.  On the palate, this has firm tannins.  There is cassis fruit but also a lot of oak.  I wonder if there is enough fruit to outlast the oak.  I am not sure and would not take a chance.  drink this sooner than later.  

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

Made by Thomas Rivers Brown at his eponymous winery.  This is the basic Napa bottling and not the single vineyard wines.  It is still a great Napa Cabernet.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, cedar and spice.  On the palate, this has a lovely texture.  Cassis fruit with some spice.  Firm tannins.  This will continue to improve for a decade but is delicious now with a long decant.  There is some oak but it works deftly with the fruit.  Deep.  Great finish.  At $6, it is well priced for a higher quality Napa Cab.     

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

Wow.  One of the great wines in the world.  This was a 100 point wine.  And it's still young!  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, blueberries, cedar, floral notes, spice and licorice.  Intoxicating.  On the palate, it is deep and complex.  Seamless.  Silky tannins.  Juicy acidity.  Cassis, blueberries, slight leather, dry/burnt earth in layers.  Long finish.  This easily as a few decades and will no doubt evolve, but will it get better?  Perhaps, but it is fantastic right now.  This was about $200 on release, but for a wine this good, this is reasonable.  

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