2017 Realm Cellars The Bard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$130.00USD

I love Realm wines and this might be my favorite.  A blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Merlot.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, black cherries, slight chocolate and tobacco with some cedar.  This is a very accessible vintage for this wine.  Full bodied.  On the palate, cassis and black cherries, with some forest floor notes.  Firm tannins.  Nice balance.  Long finish.  This drinks very Bordeaux-like for a Napa Cab.  It will still mature and like improve over the next ten to fifteen years and drink well for another ten to fifteen after that.  A nice wine

2017 Domaine Du Castel La Vie Rouge du Castel Jerusalem - Haute Judee, Israel, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

Domaine du Castel is one of the best wineries in Israel.  This is their value wine made in both red and white.  Of course, this is the red and it truly is a very good value.  This was originally purchased for Passover 2020, but due to Covid, opened in 2021.  Deep ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The  nose has black cherries and some cassis with a bit of dust and earthiness.  Medium bodied.  This drinks easily with light tannins and fresh black cherry fruit.  Good balance.  This probably should be consumed in the next few years, but for around $20, this is a nice Cab.  It graced our

2018 Orin Swift Papillon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

This is a well endowed, Bordeaux blend from Napa.  It is full throttle and delicious although some may not like that style.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, plums, graphite, cedar, and anise.  Firm tannins.  Full bodied.  On the palate, the black raspberries come thru in spades with some underlying char and graphite.  Great lush texture.  15.6% abv.  Long finish.  No noticeable alcohol on the palate other than the texture.  This drinks better on its own right now, but would work with roasted meats or fowl.  Drink over the next few years to enjoy the

2016 Waypoint Proprietary Red Kenefick Ranch, USA, California, Napa, Calistoga, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

This is a very nice fruit forward Napa Cab.  Purple/ruby in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, chocolate, and tobacco.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, there is ripe cassis fruit, some oak showing and slight dry earthiness.  Nice finish.  This is easy going and will make nice drinking over the next ten years.  A great choice with a burger off the grill.  

2018 Flora Springs Trilogy, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$85.00USD

This is a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec and 9% Petit Verdot and  always one of the stars of the Flora Springs portfolio.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, plums, a wet, rich earthiness and a sort of tree bark note that is intriguing.  Full bodied with firm tannins.  On the palate, black raspberries, and a lush chocolate milkshake with a touch of underlying earthiness.  This is a decadent wine that while still young is delicious.  Give it a few more years until maturity and the score should rise even higher.  Drink's great on it own, this will

2009 Futo Oakville, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$250.00USD

This winery really stepped it up after the first couple of vintages and are producing some great wines.  Deep purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, graphite, slight cedar and baking spices.  Full bodied.  Light tannins.  On the palate, this is juicy with great cassis fruit.  A bit of underlying graphite and char.  Some complexity but more delicious than contemplative.  Nice finish.  This would match well with roasted or grilled meats or veggies but worked great with vegetarian chili.  Drink over the next ten to twelve years.  

2000 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, France, Bordeaux, Pauillac, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2000
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$300.00USD

Wonderful wine.  Finally worth opening after waiting all these years.  Bought on release and cellared.  This was open and decanted for sediment and allowed to breather for an hour or so before trying.  Deep ruby in color, purple at the core, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is classic with cassis, pencil lead, tobacco and a hefty amount of earthy funk.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this is complex and layered but still fresh and vibrant.  Cassis with underlying earthiness and a bit of coffee and mushroom.  Long finish.  Contemplative.  This drinks great on its own and will work well with

2017 Zvonko Bogdan Cuvée No. 1, Serbia, Vojvodina, Subotica, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$27.00USD

According to the label, this is a blend of 50% Merlot, 30% cabernet Franc, and 20% Frankova Blaufränkisch.  It has a label which has some resemblance to a whimsical Bordeaux label (if those even exist).  I liked this better than the 2016 Life Flows from the same winery and a similar blend.  Whether that was due to vintage variation or the use of better barrels, I am not experienced with these wines enough to  know.  It has a deep ruby color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries, slight tobacco, cherries, spice and slight rhubarb.  On the palate, this is medium bodied with

2018 Château Jalousie Beaulieu, France, Bordeaux, Supérieur, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$10.00USD

This is an inexpensive 100% Merlot.  In good vintages, these are great places to look for values and nice wines that are accessible.  And this one, hits all the marks.  Deep ruby in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has raspberries, plums and slight spice.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, the raspberries continue along with some black cherries.  Moderate finish.  This is a tasty, fruit forward style of Merlot.  It improves with a bit of air.  Drinks fine on its own but will work better with some food.  Roasted veggies or fowl would be a nice match.  Drink over the next three to five

2000 Carruades de Lafite, France, Bordeaux, Pauillac, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2000
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$225.00USD

Tasted from a Magnum.  Purple in color with ruby swirls, opaque and bright.  The nose is earthy with cigar tobacco but plenty of fresh cassis.  The wine is mostly clean with just a hint of funk.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, there is tart cassis and cranberry fruit with underlying earthiness.  Showing some complexity.  Good finish.  In Magnum, this is drinking well today and probably close to peak.  This certainly could go another ten years but I doubt it gets better.  It will work better with food and went well with a tomato tart, but fatty meats would be a good choice.  

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