2008 Château Cheval Blanc, France, Bordeaux, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$475.00USD

This is a blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Franc.  It had been decanted for about four hours.  It is drinking quite well right now and just a very pretty wine.  Not the powerhouse of some vintages but it will certainly hold its own.  Deep ruby with purple swirls in color.  The nose has cherries, soy sauce, black cherries and spice.  On the palate, there are cherries and black cherries with an underlying char.  Nothing about this wine is under ripe or green.  Very nice acidity.  Medium tannins.  Very long finish.  This went quite well with food.  It improved slightly in the glass but ove

2008 Château d'Yquem, France, Bordeaux, Sauternes, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$345.00USD

There is not much more to offer about Yquem.  It is arguably the finest wine made on the planet.  This bottle was served early in the dinner along side fois gras or a vegetarian starter.  It went quite well.  The bottle had been opened and decanted ahead of time and this bottle seemed to be at just a bit lower than cellar temperature.  Not the best Yquem ever but certainly a very good vintage that is in a good, if young, place right now.  Golden in color.  The nose is slightly sweet with apricots and slight honey.  On the palate, slight peaches, slight honey and apricots with a touch of min

1998 Duval-Leroy Champagne Blanc de Chardonnay Brut, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1998
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$70.00USD

At age 21, this wine is drinking well but starting to show a bit of age. Light to medium golden in color.  The nose has some simple syrup, hay and an applesauce quality (think slightly oxidized apples).  There is a nice bit of acidity.  Very clean.  Slight citrus on the palate (lemon-ish).  Good finish.  Some level of complexity and depth.  A very nice way to start an evening.  It will work with just about any food.  If you own any though, it should be drunk up in the next five years unless you like older Champagne.  

1997 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1997
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$225.00USD

Dunn Cabernet's have a reputation of taking forever to get to maturity but lasting a long time.  While that is more true for the Howell Mountain, it is also true for the Napa.  This one was purchased on release to celebrate occasions as my daughter, born in the same vintage grew up.  So, when she graduated college, this one was on the list.  It is drinking wonderfully right now and does not seem like it is 22 years from vintage.  It will easily go another decade and may be two before heading south.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is nice with cassis, some cigar box and spice. 

1997 Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Brut Cuvée Palmes d'Or, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1997
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$130.00USD

Opened to celebrate the graduation from college of my daughter who was born in 1997.  This comes in a beautiful bottle (they call it a hand grenade) of dimpled glass.  It is the luxury wine from this producer and while not one of the better luxury wines, it is an excellent bottle of Champagne.  1997 was a wonderful year for daughters but just an ok year for Champagne.  Yet, this bottle showed very well and was a welcome part of the celebration.  Golden in color.  There were still a fair amount of smaller bubbles.   There is just a touch of oxidation in the wine.  The nose is nice with pears

2016 Halcon Vineyards Petite Sirah Tierra Theopolis Vineyard, USA, California, Mendocino, Yorkville Highlands, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$32.00USD

I absolutely loved this wine.  And for $32, this is a great value.  What I like about Petite Syrah is that it is not as boisterous as Syrah but in a similar vein.  The two grapes are not (at least closely) related.  Many times it seems Petite producers try to "correct" for this and get too much ripeness.  It is a fine line, but this wine really does a wonderful job of expressing the true qualities of Petite.  It does need some air and time to open, so keep that in mind if drinking now.  Or better yet, cellar a few bottles and open them in ten years!  Inky purple in color.  The nose has blac

2011 Saxum James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$110.00USD

This was a difficult vintage in most of California, but Saxum seemed to handle it just fine.  The wines, do, however, seem to be drinking a little earlier than most vintages.  The 2011 Saxum's are ready to drink but no hurry on any of them.  This one has at least another decade but it probably won't get better.  That is fine because it is outstanding.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, smoke, black cherries, red currants and slight bacon fat.  On the palate, there is nice black raspberry fruit with some black cherries over some pepper and charred earth.  A nice backbone of a

2016 Rivers-Marie Chardonnay B. Thieriot Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

Rivers Marie is more known for their Pinot's and Cab's but they make a tremendous Chardonnay as well.  It does have some oak showing but its use is deft and all but the most oakaphobes among us should LOVE this wine.  The 2016 is still a bit young but is drinking very well.  These wines seem to age pretty well, but the truth is, i rarely am disciplined enough to let mine age.  Yellow gold in color.  The nose has lemons, vanilla and slight sawdust.  On the palate, this is like a slightly sweet/sour lemon candy with a touch of vanilla.  Great acidity.  Long finish.  This particular bottle was

2018 Château Minuty Côtes de Provence M, France, Provence, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$21.00USD

I don't know where you live, but here on the shores of Lake Erie, its been a wet, cool spring.  That might be good for the grapevines, but its put a bit of a damper on drinking outside.  But, it looks like we finally made it.  Time to open up some Rose!  This is a very attractively packaged rose from Provence.  A blend of  Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah. It is quite pale pale salmon pink in color, clear and bright.  On the nose, this has lots of fresh strawberries, slight hint of orange peel and and a nice minerality.  On the palate, this has a bigger texture than it light color might lead o

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