2006 Jonata Winery El Alma de Jonata, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2006
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$115.00USD

This is still a bit young but rounding into peak form and almost there.  With a  bit of air, this is drinking quite well.  A blend of 95% Cabernet Franc, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Merlot.  Purple in color.  The nose is great with black cherries, leather, cigar box, slight dark chocolate, cherries and slight spice.  On the palate, this has a lush but firm texture.  Lots of energy.  Layers of fruit and dried tobacco with a bit of char.  Complex.  Light tannins.  After about an hour, this was singing.  Long finish.  This will work with most heavier foods especially roasts or casseroles (wit

2012 Columbia Crest Walter Clore Private Reserve, USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

This is an excellent value in red wine.  It is a blend of 80% Merlot with the remainder Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has black cherries, black raspberries, dark chocolate and a hint of spice.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, this has nice black cherry fruit with some depth.  Light tannins.  Underlying earthiness.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  This drinks well on its own and should be great with poultry dishes or even a burger.  It should be consumed over the next five to seven years.  While wine prices vary at the time of this writing, this wi

2005 Château Clos de Sarpe, France, Bordeaux, St. Emilion, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$90.00USD

This was opened and poured and enjoyed over six hours.  It is still young and really hit its stride after around four hours though the last glass was the best.  A wonderfully delicious wine.  Deep purple in color; shiny, bright and opaque.  The nose is great with black cherries, dark chocolate, slight soy, plum and char.  On the palate, this still has firm tannins though they are not overwhelming.  Lots of black cherry fruit with some underlying gravel and also some chocolate.  This is not a baby at age 15, but still needs about ten years until peak.  The finish is long, smooth and has a ni

2015 Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

  This is a blend of 87.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec and 1.5% Petit Verdot.  It is a big wine that seems like it will still get better with cellaring.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has cassis, dust, and an interesting citrus quality.  On the palate, this is very concentrated.  Notes of cassis, some dark chocolate and orange peel (?) come thru.  It is deep with firm tannins that will need time to open.  Long finish.  This needs another five to ten years of cellaring and should be good for ten to twelve after that.  Right now, it should be given an eight h

1996 Croix de Beaucaillou, France, Bordeaux, St. Julian, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1996
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

This is the second wine of Beaucaillou.  I have always thought that as second wines go, this is one of the best.  This is drinking beautifully right now.  Purple/ruby in color.  No real sign of it being 23 years old.  The nose is dusty with cassis, slight cedar and just a bit of tobacco.  There is also some volatile acidity.  On the palate, this is surprisingly fresh and lively.  It has a lovely texture.  Plenty of cassis fruit.  Medium tannins.  Some depth.  Moderate finish.  This drinks more youthfully than expected.  If this bottle is representative, this should easily go another ten to

1995 Château Cos d'Estournel, France, Bordeaux, St. Estephe, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1995
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$195.00USD

This was a good showing for this wine from what is a very hard and slow to mature vintage.  At age 24, however, this one seems to be about at peak.  Ruby in color with some browning.  The nose is tight but eventually shows cassis, dust and slight soy sauce.  On the palate, this again takes some time to open.  This was pop and pour, but an hour decant might have been a good idea.  Eventually, it shows cassis over a forest floor.  It unwinds in the glass showing nice layering.  Mild tannins.  Medium finish.  This should certainly drink well for the next decade.  It works better with food and

1990 Château Mouton Rothschild, France, Bordeaux, Pauillac, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1990
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$430.00USD

This has always been a controversial style.  Perhaps it is because it was release in an excellent vintage and a ripe one at that, but is made in an older, less ripe style.  It depends on what you are looking for.  Ruby in color with some browning.  The nose is very earthy with tobacco, slight bell pepper and black cherries.  On the palate, this has light tannins, cherry fruit and some complexity.  The bell pepper returns a bit on the finish.  It is quite enjoyable but certainly not a thrill ride that Mouton can, at time, provide.  It won't get any better from here and is either at peak or a

1986 Château Clerc Milon, France, Bordeaux, Pauillac, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1986
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

This was initially very dusty on opening.  I thought there might be some TCA, but it was just bottle stink as it blew off.  After that, it kept getting better for the next couple of hours.  Ruby in color with some browning, a bit flat.  The nose had dust, cassis, dried currents and a bit of funk.  On the palate, this has slight tannins still.  Cherries and dried cherries.  Some complexity.  Probably a bit past peak but still drinking quite well.  It works better with food and was excellent with stuffed mushrooms.  This probably needs to be consumed sooner than later although it should still

1979 Château Mouton Rothschild, France, Bordeaux, Pauillac, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1979
Score: 
82
Grade: 
B-
Current Price: 
$425.00USD

Any time one gets a chance to drink Mouton it is special.  Even if it wasn't from a stellar vintage.  Such is the case here.  Sort of a dark brown/ruby in color.  The nose has cinnamon but not really much else going on.  On the palate, this has tart acidity.  Slight dried cherry fruit.  It does have a nice texture.  It is certainly drinkable if old.  No point waiting on these any longer.  It will work better with food.  This was consumed with a group and a couple of them really enjoyed it.  Such is wine.  

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