2016 Summerland Chardonnay, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
88
Grade: 
Current Price: 
$16.00USD

This is a reasonably priced Chardonnay.  It does have a fair amount of oak on it, but is still on the crisper style.  Golden in color.  The nose has lemon vanilla cream with some raw cut lumber.  It has a nice oily texture.  Plenty of fresh oak on the palate as well but also some lemon and orange peel.  Slightly bitter on the finish.  For the price (around $16), this is a nice Chardonnay for drinking over the first few years.  

2003 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2003
Score: 
100
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$700.00USD

What a spectacular bottle of wine.  This will certainly be in the running for WOTY.  Pop and pour, it took around thirty minutes to really open.  Luckily, this was being share with just a couple of friends.  This wine is no longer the port-like monster of its youth.  It is still a big wine for Chave, but it is starting to have a certain control to it.  Purple/ruby in color.  The nose is amazing with black raspberries, violets, slight white pepper, minerals and earth.  On the palate, this has tight layers that unwind in the glass.  Black raspberries, white pepper and crushed rocks.  Long fin

2015 Rhys Chardonnay Bearwallow Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$83.00USD

My favorite Chardonnay producer (not my favorite vineyard) but the house style is unmistakable.  Light golden in color.  The nose has a lovely lemon vanilla creme quality to it with nice minerality.  This vineyard also seems to have a slight pine quality which while good is a bit harder to match with food.  Nice balance.  Good acidity.  The palate has the same flavors with the vanilla less in the foreground and the minerals more prominent.  This bottle was paired with Japanese foods and it worked very well.  

2015 Weingut Max Ferd. Richter Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese, Germany, Mosel, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

This is drinking well right now if young.  It was brought to a Japanese restaurant and worked wonderfully with all of the foods.  It is sweet, so if you are not fond of sweet wines, then you may want to pass.  Light yellow gold in color.  Beautiful nose of minerals/wet stones, grapefruit and a bit of pineapple.  Slightly viscous but with good cut to it.  Lots of depth as well as width on the palate.  The grapefruit dominates here but there is a nice underlying minerality.  Good finish.  It is delicious but with the right food is where it really shines.  This will probably continue to evolve

2010 Saint-Cosme Côte-Rôtie, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

Opened to watch the NCAA Championship Basketball game.  While still young, this is drinking nicely and provided a lot of enjoyment today.  Still, its best days are ahead and this should continue to improve.  Purple in color with ruby swirls.  On the nose, this has black raspberries, black pepper, slight bacon fat and slighter violets.  On the palate, this has firm tannins.  Juicy black raspberry fruit.  Showing layers of black raspberries, charcoal and earth.  Delicious.  Needs bigger foods.  This should easily last another decade and probably two.  

2014 Becklyn Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Moulds Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$100.00USD

This is an outstanding Napa Cab.  It is, however, also quite expensive and while that doesn't figure into the tasting note, it does enter into buying decisions.  Purple in color, to the rim.  Opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, cedar, dust and slight salinity.  On the palate, the flavors all carry thru.  This is a bigger wine but not a monster.  It is deep and will need another five to ten years to unwind.  Quite delicious now however.  It went great with homemade Vegetable soup and homemade bread but will easily stand up to bigger foods.  I have a lone bottle left and will try to reme

2005 Terry Hoage Vineyards Syrah The Hedge, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

This is a big and brawny wine from California's central coast.  Or, at least it was on release.  It seems to have really settled down and is in a great place right now but still has years left.  Inky purple in color with a thin ruby line at the rim.  On the nose this has black raspberries, black pepper, slight floral notes and roasted meats.  Thick and juicy with light tannins.  Good acidity.  Lots of black raspberry fruit intertwined with a scorched earthiness.  Nice finish.  This went well with spicy foods but also would work well with roasts and stews.  

2015 Cornerstone Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Station, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

This was an outstanding Napa Cabernet.  It might be hard to find, but this bottle was purchased recently for $53 and it's a shame we didn't buy more.  Deep purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is classic with cassis, slight blueberries, dust and cedar.  On the palate, this has silky tannins.  It is young but delicious.  Cassis fruit mostly but some blueberries.  Nice ripeness without being over the top.  Good balance.  This should continue to get better over the next five to seven years and be good for at least a decade after that.  It will need bigger and heavier foods or drink on

2007 Carmel Vintage, Israel, Judean Hills, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

This is a "Port" like wine from Israel.  We served it at our Seder with a flourless chocolate tort and it was an excellent match.  This is made from Petite Sirah grapes.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, dark chocolate, alcohol and raisins.  On the palate, this is sweet but not cloying.  It does have a fair amount of heat but it settles a bit with air.  Some depth.  It is a very interesting wine and proved popular at the table.  Our wines were limited to Kosher and from Israel, so this was a nice find.  Perhaps a bit pricey, but so it goes.  

2008 Yatir Yatir Forest, Israel, Negev, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$110.00USD

During our Seder, my son commented that he was surprised they made wine in the Negev desert in southern Israel.  i told him that not only did they make wine, they made some great wines.  This bottle, which we had purchased in Israel a few years back, was brought up and opened.  It needed some air, so we decanted and gave it some vigorous swirling before serving.  Even then, it really needed more air and a glass in the decanter the next day was the best.  The wine is made from 58% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, 32% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot grapes, 3% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc.  Purple in color

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