2011 Bertani Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Italy, Veneto, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$99.00USD

Great showing for this Amarone at age 12.  This was served on board the Celebrity Millennium Cruise ship off the coast of Alaska.  It is 80% Corvina Veronese, and 20% Rondinella. Purple with ruby swirls, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is powerful with cherries, slight raisins and some alcohol showing.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  On the palate cherries with slight char notes.  Complex and deep.  Long finish.  This is nice on its own but would be better with a plate of pasta with truffles in a cream sauce.  Drink over the next ten years.  

2021 Far Niente Chardonnay, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$55.00USD

From one of the classic Napa wineries (and still producing great wines).  This bottle was consumed on the Celebrity Millennium Cruise Ship off the coast of Alaska (off their list).  Green/gold in color, clear and bright.  The nose is nice with lemon cream and a slight pine note.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this is crisp.  It shows just minimal touches of oak.  Nice lemon/lime notes with good acidity.  A bit clipped perhaps on the finish, but otherwise very impressive.  Lovely on its own, this will work well with sea food or even Thai.  Drink over the next eight to twelve years.  

2004 Henri Goutorbe Champagne Grand Cru Brut Millésimé, France, Champagne, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2004
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+

Consumed on a Celebrity Cruise Ship (Alaska) wine tasting.  A blend of 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay.  Pale golden with some green hues and a steady stream of tiny bobbles.  The nose is interesting with toast and limes.  Perhaps a slight bit of oxidation.  On the palate, this is somewhat demur but had plenty of stuffing.  On the palate, more about minerality with slight pear and a bit of chalk.  An interesting bitter almond note on the finish.  Good acidity.  This is drinking maturely but nice right now.  Depending on how one likes older Champagnes, this is probably best drunk sooner th

Gaia 2019 Malbec

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

Malbec has become Argentina’s signature grape, and this South American country does very well with it. This value wine shows off how good Malbec can be at various price points, proof you don’t need to break the bank for a good bottle of wine. It offers huckleberry and blackberry, and there’s an earthiness to this wine, with solid acidity and oak aging that supports the fruit. The finish is a little thin, but when paired with food, as all good wines should be, that becomes less of an issue. ORIGIN: Mendoza, Argentina. ALCOHOL: 14.5%

2020 Luke Wines Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Wahluke Slope, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

This is 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 5% Malbec and 2% Petite Verdot from Washington state.  Deep garnet in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, char and slight dark chocolate.  Full bodied.  Silky tannins.  On the palate, black cherries, cassis, slight chocolate and a bit of spice.  Some minty and bitter cherry notes on the finish.  There is some depth here and it may improve a bit with short term cellaring.  It is nice on its own, but seemed better with food.  Of course, a burger would do, but it worked great with Felafel.  Drink over the next five to eight years.  

2020 Luke Wines The Companion Red Blend, USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

This is a blend of  54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 14% Syrah, 3% Petite Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Malbec from Washington State.  Deep garnet in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is nice; dusty with black raspberries, plums, spice, slight black cherries and a hint of vanilla.  Soft texture with medium tannins.  On the palate, black raspberries, cassis with underlying spice and slight char.  Long finish.  This is an easy drinking red that has some backbone and depth.  Drink over the next five to seven years.  Very nice on its own, this will work great with a brisket out

2022 Luke Wines Sauvignon Blanc, USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Wahluke Slope, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2022
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

From Washington state, this comes in at 13.2%abv.  Green/gold in color, clear and bright.  The nose is nice with lemon/lime, minerality and a touch of grassiness.  Medium bodied with a nice, slightly oily texture.  Good acidity.  On the palate, limes with a slight gooseberry note and underlying minerality.  Long finish.  Overall, a very nice Sauvignon Blanc for a very fair price.  This is lovely on its own and will work nicely with lighter foods.  A great choice with a fruit salad for lunch.  

NV Villa Sandi Il Fresco Rosé, Italy, Wine Review

Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$17.00USD

 This is labelled Spumante on the back label but otherwise there is no indication of where it is from.  The wine is a blend of 90% Glera and 10% Pinot Nero.  11.5%abv.  Pale salmon pink in color with lots of larger bubbles.  The nose is nice with cherries and strawberries.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, this is dry with pleasant cherry fruit.  A bit of bitter cherries on the finish.  It drinks well on its own, and should be very food friendly as well.  It should go well with pork.  Drink now.  

Cuvaison 2021 Estate Pinot Noir

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$42.00USD

This estate Pinot is a lively compilation of black cherry, strawberry, plum, blackberry compote, with back notes of rhubarb, huckleberry and black tea. The acidity drives the fruit. This is not a shy Pinot, but an overt celebration of expressive fruit. The wine spent 10 months aging in French oak, 33% of which was new, therefore the fruit is more dominant. Using a variety of Pinot Noir clones, winemaker Steve Rogstad, has decades of experience working with his vineyards, and knowing how best to use the excellent fruit that grows on their property. ORIGIN: Napa Valley, Los Carneros.

MacRostie 2021 Nightwing Chardonnay

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$52.00USD

MacRostie has long preferred high elevation vineyards where the vines are totally exposed. In this case, Nightwing vineyard sits at 1,200 feet, open to long sunny days and cool ocean breezes. This Chardonnay is in the vein of classic California Chardonnays - a wine that straddles all the elements of excellent fruit, malo-lactic, oak aging, stainless steel fermentation, and proper acidity. All these things come together seamlessly, which allows this to be an ideal expression of how good Chardonnay can be.

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