2013 Bodegas y Viñedos Luna Beberide Bierzo Art..., Spain, Castilla y Leon, Wine Review

This is made from the Mencia grape in northwest Spain.  It is an excellent wine that combines both the acidity and elegance of old world wines with the fruit forwardness of brightness of new world wines.  It is also around $25 which is a good value.  Ruby in color, deeper at the core.  On the nose this has bing cherries, slight olives and a bit or herbal notes.  On the palate, this has a strong backbone of acidity.  Good cherry flavors.  Medium bodied but sinewy.  Nice finish.  Very food friendly with a wide variety of foods.  

2015 Rhys Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Another stunning Chardonnay from Rhys.  Light golden in color with some green hues.  The nose has a vanilla scented lemon chiffon that is distinctive for Rhys.  Gorgeous.  There is also an underlying mineral component.  It is understandable why so many compare this to Meursault.  On the palate, this is still young but almost seamless.  The vanilla/lemon chiffon carries thru as does the minerality.  Great balance.  This would work with a wide variety of foods.  Its tht texture though that keeps being so striking.  Long finish.  There is some upside on this depending on how you like Chardonna

2013 Sineann Cabernet Sauvignon Block One, USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Wine Review

This is one of the best values in Washington State high end Cabs.  Block One refers to the first block planted of the Champoux Vineyard, one of Washington's best.  It retails for around $65.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is concentrated with dark cherries, cedar, cassis, slight tobacco, slight hint of poblano pepper.  Also just a slight touch of volatile acidity.  On the palate, this is young.  Not as bold as one might think but plenty of cherry and black cherry fruit.  Tightly packed and quite concentrated.  It unwinds in the glass with layers of fruit and tobacco and spice.

2006 Hedges Family Estate Three Vineyards Red Mountain, Washington, Wine Review

This is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and a little Syrah from three different vineyards in the Red Mountain AVA or Washington state.  At 12 years from vintage it seems to be in a great spot although it should have at least 5 more years before starting to slowly go downhill.  Purple in color.  The nose is nice with cherries, coffee, leather, slight chocolate, cassis and tobacco.  On the palate, this is still fresh with lot of fruit; cherries and black raspberries.  Layers of fruit, damp earth and tobacco.  Nice finish.  This is not a big wine, but not shy either.  Wo

2013 Walter Hansel Winery Chardonnay The North Slope Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Very classic Sonoma Chardonnay.  This sees 30% new oak, but there is a fair amount of oak showing.  Whether that is good or bad is a matter of personal taste.  Light golden in color with slight green hue.  The nose has nice lemons along with slight vanilla and nutmeg.  On the palate, the nose carries thru but also a bit of fresh cut timber.  Towards the mid-palate and finish, some tropical fruit notes emerge.  There is a lovely creamy softness to the texture.  Good depth.  Very nice acidity.  Still drinking youthfully, this should continue to develop and presumably for the oak to continue t

2011 Saxum Broken Stones, USA, California, Paso Robles Wine Review

For most newer vintages of Saxum, they need 10 years of cellaring to get close to maturity.  The 2011's are, however, a bit more precocious.  This one was firing on all cylinders.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, slight bacon fat, roasted meats, and white pepper.  On the palate, this has a wonderful texture.  Light on its feet, but packing a punch.  Great boysenberry fruit.  An underlying pepperyness.  Long finish.  Worked great with grilled foods.  There is still some upside to holding this, but its drinking beautifully right now.  

2013 Realm Cellars The Bard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Wow.  Great wine.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has cassis, coffee, slight floral note and graphite.  Its big and gorgeous.  On the palate, this has an amazing texture.  Lush but precise.  Great balance and acidity.  Tons of fruit but also depth.  Tight layering that unwinds in the glass.  Black raspberries, graphite and underlying char.  This wine is very intense but also quite delicious.  It works with big foods.  Still young and will continue to improve for a decade and be good for another decade or two after that. 

2012 Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, USA, California, Wine Review

This was from Magnum.  Most anyone who has been drinking Cabernet for any time has run into this wine.  It is a reasonably priced, classic Napa Cab that sells for around $35.  Of course, Magnums often taste better, but maybe that's because there is probably a party going on.  This is a really solid wine that is fairly priced.  It worked well with a wide variety of foods and drank quite easy.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is dusty with cassis and spice.  On the palate, this is medium bodied with medium tannins.  A fine texture.  Cassis with some depth.  Some spice/oak as well.

NV Trouillard Champagne Brut Extra Selection, France, Wine Review

35% Pinot Noir, 35% Pinot Meunier, 30% Chardonnay.  This is a fairly priced Champagne (around $40).  Light golden in color.  The nose has some toast with a bit of lemons.  Also a dusty quality.  On the palate, this has a nice minerality.  Some strawberries appear on the palate.  The acidity seems to fade away a bit.  This makes for easy summer sipping.  Nice finish.  Works fine with food.  

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