1961 Château d'Yquem, France, Bordeaux, Sauternes, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1961
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$1900.00USD

What a treat to taste this wine that was opened by a friend for his 60th birthday.  While perhaps not the best vintage for sauternes (great red vintages seldom are), this was still outstanding.  The color of iced tea (sort of red/brown/orange) clear and bright.  The nose is nice with apricots, honey and cashews.  Viscous.  Very slightly sweet.  Medium bodied.  Moderate acidity.  On the palate, orange peel with some honey.  Long finish.  This should continue to drink well for the  next fifteen to twenty years.  It probably deserves to be consumed on its own or better yet, with birthday cake

2016 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
100
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$3650.00USD

A blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, and 8% Cabernet Franc.  This was pop and pour and is, of course, young and really needs time or a decant.  That said, it is just an incredible wine!  Inky purple in color, shimmering bright and opaque.  The nose has cassis, cedar, blueberries, chocolate and slight spice.  Full bodied.  Lovely velvety yet sinewy texture.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, this is tight.  Cassis, black cherries, vanilla, and slight chocolate and char.  Deep.  Tight layers slowly unwind in the glass.  Long finish.  This needs another decade in a cellar and should dr

2012 Antinori Solaia Toscana IGT, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$265.00USD

This Super Tuscan blend is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese, and 5% Cabernet Franc.  Garnet in color, purple at the core, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with black cherries, dust, tea leaves, slight tar with just a slight volatile acidity that lifts the aromas.  Full bodied.  Light tannins.  On the palate, there are black cherries, cherries, slight sour cherries with some hay, tobacco and dusty earth notes.  Great acidity.  Long finish.  This seems to be getting close to peak but not quite.  Drink over the next ten to fifteen years.  It will work well with lots of meat, lamb or

2010 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select, USA, California, Napa, Stags Leap, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
100
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$360.00USD

Shafer Hillside is a California First Growth.  They produce a lot, every year is amazing quality, and it has a long history.  I often say it is the Chateau Lafite Rothschild of Napa.  It is expensive but for the consistency and quality, it is fairly priced.  Inky purple in color, ruby at the rim, opaque and bright.  The expressive nose has cassis, cedar, vanilla, blueberries, and graphite.  Full bodied.   Great texture.  Firm tannins.  On the palate, this is concentrated.  Great energy.  Complex and depth.  Flavors of cassis, blueberries and slight vanilla.  Long finish.  This is still youn

2011 Sine Qua Non Grenache Dark Blossom, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$1007.00USD

From Magnum.  This is a blend of 75% Grenache, 12.5% Syrah, 11.5% Mourvedre, and 1% Roussanne.  2011 was a difficult vintage, but a bit less so in southern California where these grapes were grown.  Manfred Krankl (the owner and winemaker) did a great job here.  Garnet in color, ruby at the rim, opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries, spice, black olives, white pepper and dried flowers (violets?).  Medium tannins.  This is a big wine on the palate.  Black cherries, licorice, with some char.  Long finish.  This is delicious.  It needs another five to eight years to get to peak and s

2008 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$3900.00USD

Any time one gets a chance to drink Screaming Eagle it is a treat.  The definition of a Cult Napa Cabernet.  It is not a particularly big wine but more on the Bordeaux-esque side of Napa styles.  At age 13, this one is still young but getting closer to maturity and has shed its baby fat.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim, opaque and bright.  Those is wonderful with cassis, black cherries, smoke, cedar and sandalwood.  Medium tannins.  Not quite elegant, but not a muscular wine either.  On the palate, black cherries, cassis, cedar and slight leather notes.  Long finish.  This is delicious. 

2010 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$309.00USD

White Rhone wines can be so finicky, so when a friend opened this for his birthday, it was nice to see this was firing on all cylinders.  Earlier in the day while reading a book about the White House and Wine, it mentioned that Thomas Jefferson referred to White Hermitage as France's greatest white wine, and this bottle gave that some credence.  These wines are so unique when on that they are not for everyone.  It doesn't seem fair to group with Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc as they drink more like a red in that they are not crisp or refreshing or tart.  This one is golden in color, clear a

1961 Château Latour Grand Vin, France, Bordeaux, Pauillac, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1961
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$9417.00USD

This was  served for a friends 60th birthday.  It was decanted for sediment and allowed to breathe for 20 minutes before being poured into glasses and given another ten minutes.  I ended up letting the wine go another 45 minutes (checking in on it during that time) before consuming which seemed to me optimum.  The bottle was bought a few years ago at auction and seemed sound and looked legit.  Purple in color, a bit lighter at the core with some browning especially at the edges.  A bit flat and slightly opaque.  After blowing off some bottle stink and coming back to life, the nose is comple

2008 Dom Pérignon Champagne Lenny Kravitz Limited Edition, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
99
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$2500.00USD

This was Magnum 94/200.  A friend's daughter was awarded this bottle from her employer, and she presented it to him for his 60th birthday which was generously shared with his friends.  Amazing wine.  Silvery gold in color, a steady stream of tiny bubbles, clear and bright.  The nose is big with toast, Meyer Lemons, chalk and a hint of ginger.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this is so smooth, yet so crisp.  Flavors of green apples, orange peel, minerals and some toast.  So complex and deep.  Incredibly long finish.  This is the best DP since at least 1996.  Quite a treat.  In Magnum format, i

1985 Domaine de Chevalier, France, Bordeaux, Graves, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1985
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$159.00USD

Opened and decanted for sediment.  This is drinking well.  Purple in color with ruby swirls, slight bricking.  The nose is nice with cassis, cherries, leather and cedar.  Full bodied.  Tannins seem resolved.  On the palate, cherries and black cherries with underlying leather.  Good balance.  Nice finish.  This seems fully mature but not over the hill.  Complex and also delicious.  It would work well with braised lamb.  Drink over the next five to seven years.  

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