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.  

2014 Lobo Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Wulff Vineyards, USA, California, Atlas Peak, Wine Review

Not to be confused with the wine of the same name from the Valley floor in Oak Knoll, this is from Atlas Peak and is mountain fruit.  This is a step up in quality and price.  Inky purple in color.  Very concentrated.  The nose has cassis, dark chocolate graphite and char.  On the palate, this is tannic.  Concentrated cassis flavors.  Fine tannins.  It opens in the glass but could use some time/decanting.  Nice balance.  Good finish.  A polished wine that should improve for the next five years.  Will work on the dinner table or on its own.  $85 retail.  

2014 Lobo Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Wulff Vineyards, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

From the Valley floor in Oak Knoll.  Purple in color.  The nose is nice with cassis, cherries and baking spices.  The palate has medium tannins.  Ripe cassis fruit and a bit of pepperyness.  Drinks great on its own but would work with heavier foods.  Drinks easy but there is some depth and should improve with some short term ageing.  Retails for $65.  

2014 Gabriele Scaglione Langhe Nebbiolo Passeggiando in Vigna. Italy, Piedmont, Wine Review

Deep ruby in color with brown tinges to it.  On the nose, this has nice cherries with a bit of tar/anise.  It has strong tannins on the palate.  Cherry fruit but a pretty strong green streak.  There is plenty of depth.  Good acidity.  This begs for food, both to calm the tannins and the green streak.  It is very good though and at $18, this is fairly priced.  It will be interesting to try the 2015 to compare.