Inconnu Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Sonoma, Los Carneros, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$52.00USD

This is a lower alcohol wine (12.5% abv).  It was tasted with other Cabs which is probably a disservice to it.  Purple/ruby in color.  The nose has black cherries along with a brine note.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, black cherries come thru.  Medium tannins.  Slight mint on the finish.  It will benefit from some air at this point but should make nice drinking for the next decade.  A nice match with chili or stews.  

2014 Hawkes Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$92.00USD

Purple/ruby in color.  The nose is tight at first but opens with some air.  Cassis and dust.  On the palate, this is more cherry cough drops with some underlying charred wood.  Short finish.  This might be in a bit of a dumb phase as it kept opening up over the evening.  If drinking soon, a three hour (or more) decant would help.  It should hit maturity in another five to seven years and be good for another ten after that.  A nice wine with roasted veggies or meats.  

2016 Arrowood Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Estates, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

Purple/ruby in color.  The nose has black cherries with a lot of fresh cut oak.  Also some clay and baking spices.  Full bodied.  Juicy fruit on the palate.  The heavy oak carries thru to the palate.  Thick tannins.  Nice black cherry fruit with slight chocolate notes.  Moderate finish.  This needs some time to sort out but should come together in about three years and drink well for ten more after that.  If drinking now, give it a nice decant.  A nice wine for a steak or roast.  Nice value.  

2017 Keplinger Fuego y Mar, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$75.00USD

this is 100% Syrah.  Purple in color, some ruby, opaque and bright.  The nose is earthy with plums and roasted meats and herbs.  Black olives as well.  On the palate, this is full bodied with medium tannins.  Black raspberry and black cherry fruit.  With air plums come out.  Great acidity.  A touch of salinity on the finish.  This comes across as a cooler climate Syrah more in the Northern Rhone style.  It will need some time flesh out, perhaps another seven to ten years.  After that it will drink well for ten to fifteen more years.  A nice match with brisket or roasted veggies.  

2014 Immortal Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Slope, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$75.00USD

This is the winery that used to be the Hidden Slope Winery.  They still make great Cabs.  It is a blend of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon with 3% Petit Verdot.  Purple in color,  ruby at the rim.  The nose has nice cassis, slight blueberries, baking spices and minerality.  On the palate, this is ripe/sweet and slightly jammy with cassis fruit and underlying minerality.  Nice finish.  Not quite at maturity, this will continue to develop and broaden out.  It should drink well fro ten to fifteen more years.  It drinks nicely on its own and will work well with a roast or steak.  

2016 Crescere Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Sonoma, Alexander Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$200.00USD

Another wine from this new producer.  Philippe Melka is the winemaker.  purple in color, opaque and bright.  More of a claret style of Cab than a fruit bomb.  The nose has cassis, graphite, rosemary and slight tobacco.  On the palate, there is cassis, camphor with a slight sour cherry note that is interesting.  Nice acidity.  Good finish.  This seems a bit more restrained and in need of air/time.  It should get better with about five to seven years of cellaring and then drink well for another seven to ten years.  It will work with a wide range of food.  

 

2016 Crescere Proprietary Chardonnay, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

This is a new Sonoma winery making high end wines.  Philippe Melka is the winemaker with the project managed by James MacPhail.  The Chardonnay is very nice in a middle ground between say Sonoma and Chablis.  Green-gold in color, clear and bright.  The nose is tight but opens a bit with air.  Notes of lemon and lemon candy and some flinty notes.  Clean.  On the palate, the lemons notes continue.  Some minerality/flint.  More open on the palate.  Long finish.  This is drinking well now and should continue to do so for another seven to ten years.  It will work well with shell fish and on its

2016 Martinelli Pinot Noir Moonshine Ranch, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$70.00USD

This is a big, fruit styled Pinot Noir.  It is full of California sunshine and ripeness.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has bright cherries, baking spices and slight cedar notes.  On the palate, this is full bodied.  Cherries and sour cherries.  Very clean.  Nice energy.  Right now, this probably works better on its own than with food, but with time, this should mellow a bit and work well with swordfish or even past dishes.  depending how you enjoy your Pinots, drink this over the next ten to twelve years.  

2012 Donelan Vénus, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

This is mostly Roussane with 3% Viognier.  At age 8, it is drinking quite well.  Medium straw/gold in color, clear and bright.  The nose is very nice with peaches, white pepper, wax, and slight minerality.  Full bodied.  Round texture.  The peaches come thru along with an underlying minerality.  Nice finish.  At this point, this works much better with food.  It worked great with a thin crust veggie pizza.  This probably should be consumed over the next five to seven years.  

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