2015 Antinori Villa Antinori Toscana IGT. Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$15.00USD

A perennial favorite in my household going back to the days when this was labeled as Chianti.  A very nice value and a wine that will age for a few years anyway.  Purple in color, slightly opaque and bright.  The nose is dusty, slightly smoky, with nice cherry fruit.  On the palate, this has nice layering.  Not too deep or complex but what is there is developed.  It certainly seems as though there are some Bordeaux varietals in this wine, but I am unsure of the blend.  It drinks more like a Bordeaux of similar price.  The fruit is riper though.  This may still have some upside but should be

2014 Tenuta San Guido Guido Alberto Toscana IGT, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

This is the second label of Sassicaia.  It is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot.  Tasted at a tasting with more Sangiovese grapes did not help this wine.  Nor did the fact that this was from a not very good vintage in Tuscany and many of the others were from better vintages.  Still, this wine was a favorite of some.  Deep garnet in color.  The nose has tart cherries, some cassis, some tobacco and green bell pepper.  On the palate, the tannins are fully resolved.  Good acidity.  Slightly bitter cherries with some forest floor.  Short finish.  It is a good reason to drink wines

2015 Mulderbosch Faithful Hound, South Africa, Stellenbosch, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$18.00USD

This winery has recently been sold to new owners.  They are one of the largest producers in South Africa having opened in 1989.  Mostly known for their Chenin Blanc, this red is affordable and a great value too.  It is a blend of 32% Cabernet Franc, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot, and 7% Malbec.  The new label is plain and classy, but I always liked the old one with a picture of a dog.  A note for the 2013 is on this site and features that label.  The wine itself is drinking very well.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has cassis, plums, baking spice and slight tobacco not

2015 Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$185.00USD

This is one of the great wines of the world.  This is a Bordeaux blend made in Tuscany.  2015 was an excellent if quite ripe vintage.  All of that ends with a wine that is no where close to being ready to drink.  It doesn't matter how young you like your wines, this needs time.  If I had to drink a bottle now, i would decant it for a week.  It is tight, brooding and a monster.  That said, it will eventually be a tremendous wine.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, cassis, coffee, spice and slight tobacco.  On the palate, there was a fierce wall of tannins.  Juicy black cherry fr

2016 Harry & David Vineyards Royal Crest Red, USA, Oregon, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

This is from the Food and Gift purveyor Harry & David and made with Oregon fruit.  It is a "Bordeaux Styled" wine though the exact blend is unclear.  These wines sell as part of gift packages that one can order online or at a store.  It is quite good and was a real crowd pleaser.  Purple in color with ruby swirls.  The nose is dusty with black cherries and a nice earthiness to it.  On the palate, this has a nice acidity.  Tart cherry fruit over a forest floor base.  Silky tannins.  Nice finish.  This is food friendly and should go well with medium and heavier foods but especially meat a

2008 Château Pontet-Canet, France, Bordeaux, Pauillac, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$90.00USD

Thrown into a tasting of First Growths from this vintage, that probably wasn't fair, but it held it's own even if not one of the top wines.  And, to top it off Inky purple in color.  The nose is very nice with liqueur-like notes of cassis and cherries along with some cedar and spice.  On the palate, this has a lot of cassis fruit with firm tannins.  It will need another five to ten year to maturity.  It is delicious as pop and pour right now.  Considering this is available for around $90 right now, it is hard to justify the prices of some of the other "better" wines.  

2008 Château La Mission Haut-Brion, France, Graves, Pessac-Léognan, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$240.00USD

This is 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot, and 6% Cabernet Franc.  This was one of the least expensive wines in this magnificent tasting and really stood toe to toe with all of them.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, smoke, graphite and minerals.  Very expressive if not huge.  On the palate, there is a wonderful texture.  Cassis with layers of minerals and char.  Great balance.  Long finish.  This really took some time to open in the glass but then just kept getting better.  It seems like it will need another decade to fully mature and then have a couple more after that (which seems

2008 Château Haut-Brion, France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$450.00USD

This is  50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc.  A gorgeous wine that is still very young.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is pretty classic for Haut Brion with cassis, crushed gravel, slight asphalt and strawberries.  On the palate there are silky but firm tannins.  Deep and complex, the layers unwind in the glass.  Cassis and black cherries, slight strawberries over gravel and earth.  Great balance.  Long finish.  This needs  another ten years to maturity and should be there for a couple more decades after that.  It is delicious right now but give it air. 

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

2005 Château La Confession, France, Bordeaux, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

Time has been great for this bottle.  At age 14, it is a stunning bottle of Bordeaux.  Probably at or close to peak but with years left.  Purple/ruby in color.  The nose is fresh with cherries, cigar box, slight earthy funk and slight spice.  On the palate, this has complex layers of cherries, black raspberries, and tobacco.  Great balance.  Long finish.  This drinks well on its own because of the complexity but really shines at the dinner table with meat and roasted dishes or stews.  This is a great example of buying affordable Bordeaux in great vintages and letting them age.  It can still

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