1946 Bodegas Toro Albala Montilla-Moriles Don PX Gran Reserva, Spain, Montilla-Moriles Alto, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1946
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+

What an interesting and great wine.  This is a sweet dessert wine made from Pedro Ximinez grapes.  This was made from grapes harvested in 1946.  It was casks and bottled in 2011.  There have been varying batch releases since then (though none on the market as of now).  It is dark brown in color.  A pretty color but not one normally associated with great wines.  The nose has a tootsie roll quality with a touch of chocolate liqueur.  Viscous.  On the palate, the tootsie roll notes follow thru but also a bit of warming alcohol which works nicely.   It is sweet, not cloying with a bit of acidit

2009 Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$260.00USD

Deep purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is great.  Very Bordeaux-like in a Californian way.  Cassis, cherries, baking spices with a slight black licorice.  On the palate, this is young but showing some maturity.  Light to medium tannins.  On the palate, the fruit is more black cherry than cassis.  Some oak still showing.  Some minerals and dry earthiness underneath.  Nice finish.  This is a beautiful wine that is probably at the start of peak.  It will mature more over the next ten years and be good for another ten to fifteen after that.  

1999 Penfolds Grange, Australia, South Australia, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1999
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$400.00USD

A chance to try the iconic wine of Australia is pretty special but a chance to try one with age is amazing.  This bottle was decanted for a couple of hours and then poured back into the bottle and served after an additional two hours.  It was still a bit tight but opened up in the glass quite well.  The nose has black cherries, black raspberries, black pepper and slight roasted meats and roasted herbs.  On the palate, it is medium to full bodied.  Great balance.  Nice black raspberry and black cherry fruit over char.  This is drinking well and probably at or close to peak.  No hurry, there

2012 Penfolds Grange, Australia, South Australia, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$450.00USD

Grange is arguably the best wine from its entire continent.  That's a pretty bold statement.  This is the iconic wine from Australia and has, and continues to, earn that reputation for over almost seventy years.  This is of course, young.  Grange is a wine that can easily do a few decades.  Yet, it drank well as pop and pour  Purple in color.  The nose is very pretty with black cherries, ginger, cedar, and spice.  Full bodied with firm tannins.  Flavors of black cherries, black raspberries, a bot of char/toast.  Great mouth feel.  Long finish.  This will get better with cellaring.  It needs

2012 Sine Qua Non Grenache Stein, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$225.00USD

Few people make Grenache in California at a level of this.  Manfred Krankl, the owner/winemaker here, does it consistently.  It skirts the line of being large yet having elegance.  This is a blend of 76% Grenache, 16% Syrah, and 8% Mourvedre.  Just a delicious wine.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has great raspberry fruit along with black raspberries, char, black pepper and spice.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, the raspberries and black raspberries come thru.  Wonderful lush texture.  Underlying pepper and char.  Long finish.  This needs about five more years until peak an

2010 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon RBS Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$350.00USD

A really great wine.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has cassis, chocolate, char, slight camphor note and coffee.  This is a rich, big wine.  Delicious.  Flavors of cassis, blueberries with slight chocolate over spice and char.  Juicy acidity.  Medium tannins.  Long finish. This needs about 5 to seven more years until peak and then should be great for ten to twenty more years.  It will work with big foods like steak or roasts.  

2013 MacDonald Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
100
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$575.00USD

Wow.  This wine was decanted  for 10 hours in a Magnum size decanter prior to serving.  It needed every bit of that.  Inky purple in color.   What an awesome nose.  Cassis, moist earth, baking spice and slight cigar box.  On the palate, this has firm tannins.  Loads of cassis, some black cherries over a rich earthiness with some cedar.  Great balance.  This is a powerful wine but not a monster in that sense.  Lots of fruit but with pin point attack.  Long finish.  This needs at least ten years to get close to peak but if you can't resist, a decant of at least 12 and even 24 hours is needed.

2010 Abreu Howell Mountain, USA, California, Napa, Howell Mountain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
100
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$335.00USD

A wow red blend to be sure.  This has 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc, 8% Petit Verdot, 8% Malbec and 5% Merlot.  Still young, this was pop and pour and rocking from the get-go.  Purple in color.  The nose is great with cassis, plums, cigar box, graphite, baking spice and slight cedar.  On the palate, this is full bodied yet very concentrated.  Powerful and intense.  Lots of cassis, some blueberries, plums wound with tobacco, chocolate and slight char.  Medium tannins.  Long finish.  This kept evolving in the glass.  It probably won't peak for another five years or so and should

2007 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
100
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$395.00USD

Wow.  This is in a great place right now (and has been for a while).  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is classic, Californian, and amazing.  Cassis, blueberries, pencil lead, spice and slight chocolate.  Amazing texture.  Full bodied.  Racy yet, powerful.  There are light to medium tannins.  At age 12, this is still not yet at full maturity.  Flavors of cassis, blueberries, slight chocolate and char.  Great balance.  Long finish.  One of the great wines of the world.  

MV Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée Edition 167eme, France, Wine Review

Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$168.00USD

This wine (or at least this bottle) seems to be a bit better than a prior bottle which is saying a lot.  It mostly the difficult 2011 vintage but includes almost two hundred different wines going back to the 1995 vintage.   Forty-two percent of the cuvée is made up of Reserve wines.  The final blend is 47 % Pinot Noir, 36% Chardonnay and 17% Pinot Meunier.

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