2001 Vieux Château Certan, France, Bordeaux, Pomerol, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2001
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$333.00USD

2001 was a good if not great vintage and the better wines are certainly at peak.  That would include this one.  It is one of the better Merlot's produced in Bordeaux.  Purple in color, ruby at the core.  The nose is nice with cherries, slight plums, some cedar and a bit of milk chocolate.  Full bodied.  The wine has a nice complexity to it.  If is mature and on the refined side.  Layers of plums, cherries with an earthy/dried fruit base.  Moderate finish.  This worked well with a stuffed mushroom cap dish.  No real hurry at this point, but probably best to drink up within five to ten years.

2016 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$36.00USD

No winery is more synonymous with Napa Valley than Robert Mondavi.  And while they make all sorts of wines and at all sorts of price points, this is the one that epitomizes the winery.  Somehow, they straddle the line between old and new, corporate yet having a sense of place, and making a wine that is affordable and good value for the quality.  The blend of this is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petite Verdot, 5% Merlot, and 3% Cabernet Franc.  It sees 17% New French Oak.  Served at a recent Intowine.com tasting, this was quite a hit.  Deep ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose is

2008 Jonata Winery El Alma de Jonata, USA, California, Santa Ynez, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$125.00USD

This is a top quality winery from Southern California.  The El Ama is one of the top Cabernet Francs made anywhere.  Actually, it is 75% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot.  It is ripe and delicious.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has black cherries, black olives, cigar box and spice.  Full bodied with a lush texture.  There is a nice depth with bold black cherry fruit over a nice earthiness.  Good finish.  This is just getting to full maturity but should easily go another decade.  A nice match for lamb or other grilled meats.  

2005 Château Greysac, Bordeaux, Medoc, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+

This is a great example of why to buy inexpensive Bordeaux in great vintages.  This was $12,50 on release.  I bought a bunch and this was the last bottle (I think).  it was quite enjoyable.  Is it amazing and complex?  No, but at age 15, it was delicious, and pleasurable.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cherries, slight dried cherries and a bit of baking spices and tobacco.  On the palate, this is medium bodied.  Plenty of cherry fruit with an underlying earthiness.  Some complexity.  Tannins are mostly resolved.  Moderate finish.  This drinks fine on its own but would be b

2016 Justin Vineyards & Winery Isosceles, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$70.00USD

This is the flagship wine from Justin.  It is a Bordeaux styled blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and 7% Merlot.  it sees 100% new French oak.  This is a very nice wine that is pretty unique given the number of similarly proportioned wines in France, Napa and the rest of the world.  It has a deeper ruby color with some purple swirls, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has black currants, some black cherries with a bit of baking spice and slight dark chocolate notes.  On the palate, this has a nice juicy, chewy texture.  Lots of black cherry fruit and spice.  Though plenty

2017 Justin Vineyards & Winery Justification, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

This is a "right bank" Bordeaux blend from Paso Robles.  It is 65% Cabernet Franc and 35% Merlot and sees 44% new French oak for 20 months..  Ruby/purple in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose is nice with black cherries, dusty, baking spices, slight tobacco and cedar.  On the palate, this has thick tannins at this stage.  Lots of cherries, red currants, spice and slight earthiness.  It is very tight right now but opened up nicely on day 2.  If drinking now, give it a good decant.  This should improve a bit over the next few years and be good for seven to ten years after that.  It has

2017 Psagot Edom, Israel, Judean Hills, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$33.00USD

This a red blend of 45% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 13% Petit Verdot grown at high elevation in the Edom Mountains.  It is Kosher.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  A very nice Bordeaux-like nose.  Cassis, black cherries, cherries, slight cigar box, gravel and slighter bell pepper.  On the palate, this is medium bodied with lighter but present tannins.  Moderate acidity.  A nice depth and complexity.  Notes of cassis and cherry fruit over gravel.  Ripe but not overtly.  Drinks easily right now.  I don't think this will get better but should drink well for five to seven more years.

2016 Château Monbousquet, France, Bordeaux, St. Emilion, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$55.00USD

This was tasted non-blind at the conclusion of tasting a group of 16/17 Bordeaux blind.  A great place to try this wine as it showed well in that spot.  This is a big wine that is drinking quite well at the moment, perhaps due to the large amount of Merlot.  It is a blend of 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.

2016 Château Branaire-Ducru, France, Bordeaux, St. Julien, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$65.00USD

In a recent blind tasting of 2016/2017 Bordeaux's, this and the 2017 version were my top two wines.  All of the notes can be found on this site.  While the tasting did not include any first growths, it does point out that this Chateau is producing outstanding wines and at reasonable prices.  While today I preferred the 2017, in the long run, the 2016 is the better wine.  It is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, and 3% Cabernet Franc. Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  Opaque and bright.  The nose is complex with cassis, black cherries, leather, tobacco and spice

2016 Château Prieuré-Lichine, France, Bordeaux, Margaux, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$49.00USD

Another great showing from this estate.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  Opaque and bright.  The nose has slight cherries with a bit of smoke.  Delicate but persistent.  On the palate, this is very smooth.  Light tannins.  Cherries and sour cherries with a slight char underneath.  Nice finish.  This is a more delicate wine with nice acidity and will appeal to those who like more red fruits than say purple.  It will match well to pasta dishes or fowl.  This should improve a bit more over the next few years and then drink well for another ten to twelve after that.  

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