2015 Fontella Chianti, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Looking for a great value?  Be sure to check out the 2015 Chianti's.  This one retails for $10 and is very good.  A bit modern in style and easy to drink.  Ruby in color.  The nose has black cherries and slight dry forest floor notes.  A bit of baking spices.  On the palate, there is a nice acidity here.  Cherry and black cherry fruit.  Round corners make it easy to drink on its own but of course, great for pizza and pasta.  This probably is better drunk in the next few years.  

2015 Mirror Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

This is a high end Napa Cabernet.  It needs some time, but it is quite good.  The retail is $95, so certainly it is not within everyone's budget.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis and chocolate.  Also a bit of graphite.  On the palate, those flavors carry through.  The fruit is pretty ripe.  Lots of black raspberry and plum fruit.  Slight heat on the finish that I suspect will calm down with some bottle age.  This should improve by a point or two with a few years in the cellar and be good for a decade after.  Will work with heavier foods and on its own.  

2014 Eagle Glen Merlot

Purple in color.  The nose has cherries, cassis, slight chocolate and spice.  Those flavors continue to the palate.  Light tannins.  This is a tasty, easy drinking wine.  A bit of acidity.  Will work well on its own but also with medium or heavier foods.  Good finish.  

NV CLE Urban Winery Cleveland Rocks Christmas Red

This is a wine bar that makes wine from juice brought in from around the world in Cleveland, Ohio.  This particular wine is their answer to the popular Christmas Ale beers.  While it may appeal to those beer lovers, it can not be recommended as a serious wine.  Fun, sure.  Made from Cabernet Sauvignon juice.  Its all about cinnamon, cloves and oranges.  Some heat.  One sip is plenty.  Kudos to them for trying, but let someone buy you a glass and then split it among a few people.  Retails for $30.  

2016 Jax Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Calistoga, Wine Review

Purple in color.  The nose has plenty of cassis, some cedar, and slight cigar tobacco.  On the palate, this is big ripe cassis fruit.  A bit of mint on the palate as well.  Some spice.  Firm tannins.  This needs a few years and should be good for another ten or more.  This needs big food and will work well on its own.  If drinking in the next few years, give it a few hour decant.  Definitely some upside potential.  

2016 Jax Vineyards Pinot Noir Y3, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Deep Ruby/Purple in color.  The nose has sour cherries and spice.  On the palate, this has big fruit; mostly sour cherries, some cherries.  Good balance.  Long finish.  This is a big, fruit forward style of Pinot that will work very well on its own.  It is delicious.  It will work with some bigger foods as well.  Promises to be a crowd pleaser.  

2015 Vourvoukelis Limnio, Greece, Thrace, Wine Review

100% Limnio.  Ruby/purple in color.  The nose has cherries and a minty note.  On the palate, firm tannins.  Cherries with an underlying char.  A bit of raisined grapes.  This will work with serious meat dishes and some medium weight foods.  It should make good drinking for the next five years at least.  Retails for $25 which is a fair price.  

2012 Barafakas Winery Agiorgitiko Apocalypsis, Greece, Nemea, Wine Review

What an interesting wine.  Made from the Agiorgitiko grape.  This retail for $24 which is a fair price.  It is unclear how it will age but it seems as though it should be drunk in the next few years.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose is lovely with sour cherries.  A bit of anise on the back of the nose.  On the palate, the sour cherries come thru along with some forest floor and some bell pepper.  A bit like a cooler climate Cabernet Franc combined with Barbera.  Firm tannins and good acidity.  This really begs for some food.  A fun wine.  

2014 Helexo Apanta Xinomavro, Greece, Macedonia, Wine Review

100% Xinomavro.  Light ruby in color.  This looks like it will be a lighter wine, then boom.  The nose has bitter sour cherries (in a good way) with some black olive and spice.  On the palate, this is light bodied but packs a lot of flavor on that thin frame.  Ripe cherries, firm tannins.  In the style of Nebbiolo but not.  Nice finish.  There is a nice backbone of acidity if not pronounced.  It should work well with a wide variety of foods, especially fowl.  13.5% Alc.  Retails for $20 which is a great deal for a very good wine and also something a bit different.