2015 Charles Smith Merlot The Velvet Devil

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
85
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$15.00USD

Purple in color.  The nose is ok with cherries and dust.  On the palate, this is easy drinking.  Cherries with some underling spice.  Nice texture.  Nothing wrong but nothing exciting either except the price.  This is around $15 which is a nice price for a party.  

2016 Rhys Alesia Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

From a 375ml bottle.  Rhys makes some of the best Chards in California, but this is from purchased fruit and so carries the Alesia name.  It does seem like the oak treatment is different as well.  This is a sold Chardonnay but not nearly in the class of the Rhys Chards.  Light gold/green in color.  The nose is nice with minerals, spice, slight lemons and slight lumber.  On the palate, the minerals and lumber carry thru.  Some lemon.  Lean in body with good acidity.  This will work with a lots of foods.  

2005 Château La Croix St. Georges, France, Pomerol, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1995
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$120.00USD

Nice to check in on this.  That said, this bottle, purchased from retail on release had a significant amount of brett on it.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has some band-aid, slight barnyard, cassis, slight blueberries, and cedar.  On the palate, this was decanted and much but not all of the brett blew off.  It shows nice fruit with tight layers of barnyard and earth.  Medium tannins.  Long finish.  A cleaner bottle can certainly go longer, but given how this showed, it might be better to open a bottle and see how it is doing.  Especially if you have more than one.  It needs b

2013 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
100
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$160.00USD

Wow.  Dark purple in color, to the rim.  What a great nose.  The kind of nose one could just sniff all evening.  Cassis, graphite, slight chocolate, slight cedar and slight spice.  The nose itself it big but not overblown.  On the palate, the texture is gorgeous.  Seamless, velvety and round yet muscular enough.  Layers of fruit tightly layered with chocolate and slight dry earth.  Complex and deep.  Dee-licious.  Gulpable but then it demands attention.  Medium tannins.  Long finish.  This will require bigger foods and meat but this is a classic Napa Cab to just drink by itself.  It is that

2006 Cesari Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Italy, Veneto, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2006
Score: 
88
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$39.00USD

This is a very nice Amarone in just the right place right now.  Probably at or close to peak but no real hurry here.  Deep ruby in color with very slight browning at the rim.  The nose is very nice with cherries, slight raisins and other dried fruits, a bit of spice and just a hint of roasted herbs.  A voluptuous texture.  Slightly sweet/ripe but just perceptible.  Layers of complexity. Good acidity that works better with food.  Nice finish.  Is this a blockbuster?  No, but it is an outstanding wine that is around $30 for current vintages.  

2014 Chalone Vineyard Pinot Noir Estate Grown Heritage Vines, USA, California, Monterey, Chalone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

Ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose is great with an earthy cherry quality to it.  Perhaps some woodsy tree bark as well.  On the palate, this has a soft, creamy texture.  Cherries, slightly sour with depth.  Tight layers that open in the glass.  Nice finish.  This seems like it would age nicely over the next ten to fifteen years.  Drinking well right now.  This will match with a wide variety of foods from Salmon to Turkey and more.  Upside overtime is likely.  

2015 Heitz Cellar Chardonnay, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

Light golden in color.  The nose has some oak/spice on it but not a ton.  Also some baked apples.  On the palate, the apples are fresh with a slight bit of ripeness.  The oak is a bit more persistent but again, not over the top.  Good bite of refreshing acidity.  Nice finish.  This works on its own as a cocktail wine but will work just fine with lighter fare.  It should make good drinking over the next few years.  It may not be worth long term cellaring, but it might surprise.  

2007 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Richebourg, France, Burgundy, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$2500.00USD

Opened about an hour before the tasting and allowed to breathe. Purple/ruby in color. The nose is beautiful with a nice earthiness (mostly clean), baking spices, cherries (red and black). On the palate there is a juicy acidity that gives way to a lush texture and big fruit. Dark and red cherries but also some clay and spice show thru as well. Tight layers that unwind in the glass. Long finish. Certainly needs time or air, but drinking great right now.

2005 Domaine Dujac Clos de la Roche, France, Burgundy, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$1200.00USD

Wow. The best red Burgundy I have ever had. Everything I could ask for except two things. 1) it still is very young and B) the price is way out of my range. That said, what a treat to drink this. The bottle was opened slightly before the tasting. Dark purple in color, ruby at the rim. The nose is tight at first with spice and a warm earthiness. With air the red cherries come out and also some black currants. On the palate, there is a nice meatiness to this along with dark cherries and sandalwood. It is deep with layers of fruit and earth.

2016 Jean Biecher et Fils Altenberg de Bergheim, France, Alsace, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

An interesting blend of Gewurztraminer and Riesling.  It was sold for $20 which is a nice value.  Light gold/green in color.  Oddly, this seems to have some trapped CO2 in the bottle as it shows up on the glass if the not the palate.  Neither varietal seems to be very pronounced on the nose, although both show up a bit.  Slight lychee, apricot and minerals.  On the palate, this is viscous.  A perception of sweetness but seems dry though ripe.  Lychees and apricots.  Good finish.  Will work well with Indian or Thai food.  

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