2012 Torrin Law Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Torrin is a winery we have been urging people to sign up for their mailing list for a while now.  And every year they keep ratcheting up the quality.  It was nice to go back six years to try this.  Probably not yet at maturity but past the baby stages and getting close.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper, char and slight roasted meats.  On the palate, this is big but concentrated and not exuberant.  Black raspberry fruit with underlying char.  It took some time to open but revealed and deep and complex wine.  Nice finish.  This needs big or spicy food but a

2007 Saxum Heart Stone Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

2007 was the best vintage for Saxum up to now.  And, that is saying a lot.  This was just stunning.  It is in a great place right now, but, depending on the bottle, not quite at peak.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, roasted meats, black cherries, slight cedar and spice and bits of plums and peppers.  On the palate, this is lively yet weightless.  Almost seamless.  Delicious with energetic black raspberries, black cherries and underlying charred meats.  Long finish.  Great with heavier or spicy foods.  Each sip makes one want another.  

2017 7 Moons Dark Side Red, USA, California, Wine Review

This is a blend of Syrah, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Grenache.  It is a very drinkable wine that lists 13.5% Alc.  It retails for around $10 and this is a great value.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, black cherries, cocoa and plums.  On the palate, this is slightly sweet.  Light tannins.  A nice varietal complexity.  Tart acidity. Long finish.  This probably should be drunk in the next few years.  Will work with a wide variety of foods.  Easy drinking and fun.  

2013 Saxum Cuvée Rocket Block James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

From Magnum.  Consumed over 4 days, it was probably best on day 3 and day 4.  100% Grenache.  16.4% Alcohol and not noticeable.  Purple in color.  The nose has cherries, dark cherries, some coffee grounds, spice and slight floral notes.  On the palate, this is not as big of a wine as expected.  Wonderful seamless texture.  Delicious.  Dark cherries, cherries, spice along with light tannins.  Long finish.  Will work with a wide variety of foods.  This is still quite young and has a few more years until maturity and a good decade or more after that.  One of the top examples of California Gren

2014 Denner The Ditch Digger, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

60% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre, 5% Cinsault, 5% Counoise.  Inky purple in color.  The nose is great with black raspberries, leather, plums, slight earthiness, char and some black cherries.  On the palate, this has a wonderful rich texture.  Medium tannins.  It is young but bursting with fruit without being over the top.  Black cherries, black raspberries, underlying earthiness and char.  Long finish.  This is a big wine and needs either big or spicy food.  It is still probably 7 years from maturity and will last another 10 after that (at least).  That said, it is delicious and enjoy

2017 Diving Into Hampton Water Rose, France, Languedoc, Wine Review

A collaboration between Gérard Bertrand, and Jon and Jesse Bon Jovi.  HW Wine Company is essentially a company that commissioned this wine to be made in France to celebrate the good life.  Light salmon pink in color.  The nose is all about watermelon and strawberries.  It has a nice texture.  Nice acidity.  This wine is really all about summer fruit.  Not a lot of depth or complexity but tasty and easy drinking.  While it is probably made as a summer sipper it went well with a summery watermelon salad. Fun wine.  

2017 Château de Ségriès Tavel, France, Rhone, Wine Review

So glad to be able to review this as a bottle last week was not that good.  This one was much better and more what should be expected.  Bad bottles do happen.  Deep salmon pink in color, but not as deep as the prior bottle (heat damage?).  The nose has cherries and light rhubarb.  On the palate, this is clean, dry and no bitterness.  Persistent cherries on the palate.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  Worked well with food.  Nice bottle.  In retrospect, that first bottle was probably damaged in shipping at some point.  

2005 Saxum 44 Month Barrel Age James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

This was an experiment Justin Smith did back in 2005.  He let the wine stay in barrels for 44 months before bottling it.  This extended ageing as it is called is interesting.  One might think the wine would be ready earlier but conversely, it seems to take even longer for the wines to be ready to drink.  This one is now in a great place and if you have one, consider popping the cork.  A GSM blend, but mostly Syrah.  Purple in color.  The nose is great with black raspberries, iodine, decayed meats, leather, slight bacon fat and an earthy/musk.  On the palate, this has a wonderful lightness a

2010 Saxum James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

From Magnum.  Inky purple in color.  The nose is great with black raspberries, plums, grilled meat, white pepper and char.  On the palate, this has an incredible texture.  Smooth and velvety yet powerful and muscular.  Notes of black raspberries, spice and slight charred earth.  This is deep and complex yet still has a long life left.  This vintage has opened and shut a few times since release but seem like it has settled and is open.  There is a lot of alcohol but it doesn't show up anywhere in the glass.  One of those wines that each sip makes you want to have another.  Spectacular wine. 

2007 Clos des Brusquières Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

This is really in a nice place right now.  Mature but enough fresh fruit to keep it edgy.  Ruby in color, purple at the core.  The nose has opened up on this showing black cherries, cherries, and plums along with spice and slight dried floral notes.  On the palate, there is plenty of vibrant black cherry fruit.  Deep with layers that open up quickly.  Good acidity.  Nice balance.  No hurry but I think a few more years and it starts moving the other direction.  Works well with a wide variety of foods.  A great example of why cellaring top wines in ripe vintages might be a good strategy.  

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