2008 Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$250.00USD

This is a wonderful Champagne.  Light silvery gold in color.  A nice mousse with lots of tiny bubbles.  The nose is clean with seltzer, minerals and as it opens, slight cherry notes.  On the palate, this has great tart acidity.  Lots of lemons and some quince.  As it warms, some vanilla comes out.  Long chalky finish.  This is very young but drinking quite well right now.  Will go with just about any food.  Give it a few years and it will probably earn a perfect score.  

2016 Domaine des Miquettes St. Joseph Madloba, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$56.00USD

This is what is sometimes referred to as an "orange" wine.  What that means is that it is fermented on its skins.  The extended skin contact transfers some color to what is otherwise a white wine.  It has other effects on the wines depending on the wine making process.  Though this style of winemaking has been around for a long time, a small subsection or wine lovers and commentators discovered these wines about ten years ago and became enthralled with them.  Like anything however, just because a wine is made in this style doesn't make them good or bad.  This one, however, is very good.  Th

2016 Frost Bitten Wines Riesling Ice, USA, Washington, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$15.00USD

Looking for a nice value in dessert wines?  This one retails for around $15 and is nice.  Golden in color.  The nose has nice pineapple fruit, with a bit of lychee and peach.  On the palate, the pineapple carries thru.  This is sweet.  A bit of honey.  Nice to have a couple of ounces on its own.  

2015 Bodegas del Marqués de Vargas Rioja Crianza, Spain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

Ruby/purple in color.  The nose has cranberries and tobacco.  On the palate, this is interesting.  More red currants than cranberries (or cherries).  Tart fruit.  slight tannins.  OK finish.  Drinking well now, it won't get better and is better consumed in the next few years.  Food friendly.  

2016 Mas de Gourgonnier Les Baux-de-Provence, France, Languedoc, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$15.00USD

This one comes in a unique shaped bottle.  It is drinking quite well today and should easily last for five more years.  Ruby/purple, clear and bright.  The nose is tight at first.  With air, some black raspberries and raspberries come out.  Also some floral qualities and some spice.  On the palate, this has nice black raspberry fruit.  Slight leather.  Medium tannins.  A bit dusty underneath.  Good finish.  Very food friendly.  At around $15, this is a very nice value.  

2015 Sobon Estate Zinfandel Fiddletown, USA, California, Amador, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$18.00USD

Looking for a good, not too expensive Zinfandel for parties, pizza night and just good sipping?  Here ya go!  This one retails for $20 and fits the bill.  Ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose has cherries, sour cherries, a bit of sticks and stones and slight dust.  On the palate, this is easy to drink.  It is ripe but not over the top.  Nice texture presumably from the high alcohol (15%).  Good finish.  This makes a nice cocktail wine but will go with big casual food.  Sure to be a crowd pleaser.  

2016 Quinta do Crasto Douro Crasto, Portugal, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$14.99USD

This house makes some great wines that are quite expensive.  This is there base value wine that retails for around $15.  It is a very nice wine for the money as well.  Purple/ruby in color though a bit flat.  The nose has cranberries and boysenberries.  On the palate, the fruit shifts more toward black cherries.  Slight tannins.  Good finish.  Drink over the next five years.  Will work with medium and heavier foods.  

2014 Château Les Grands Chênes, France, Bordeaux, Medoc, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$24.00USD

A nice showing for this 2014.  Given that, it is probably worth checking out the 2015 or 2016.  This retails for around $25.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has plums along with some dusty tobacco.  Also a very interesting saline feature.  On the palate, this is very tannic.  Black cherry fruit with a bit of earthiness.  Good balance.  Nice finish.  Everything you could want in a value Bordeaux.  

2014 Bodega Numanthia Toro Termes, Spain, Toro, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$19.96USD

A perennial great value and this one was no exception.  Garnet in color, clear and bright.  The nose is a bit sweaty with nice cherry fruit.  Also a slight minty note.  On the palate, this has deep cherry fruit.  A sort of root beer quality creeps in which is interesting.  Medium tannins.  Nice finish.  Still youthful, this should have five to ten more years and will develop tertiary notes.  Will work with bigger foods right now.  

2016 Ermitage du Pic St. Loup Coteaux du Languedoc Pic St. Loup Tour de Pierres, France, Languedoc, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
83
Grade: 
B-
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

A disappointing showing for this wine.  Ruby in color, flat.  The nose has some cedar and a bit of red currants.  On the palate, there is some fruit but it is disjointed and seems cloying.  At the same time the acidity is out of balance and harsh.  Very tart on the finish.  The flat appearance for such a young wine makes me wonder if this was indeed a proper bottle or it was mishandled somewhere along the distribution chain.  It retails for around $20 and should be better.  

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