2007 Meerlust Rubicon, South Africa, Stellenbosch, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

This is a Cab/Merlot/Cab Franc blend from South Africa.  Purple, ruby at the rim.  The nose is interesting.  Red fruits with some bell pepper notes.  A bit of tobacco as well.  On the palate, this seems a bit better.  Cherries and some cassis.  Underlying earthiness.  Good finish.  Drinks like a nice Bordeaux with a bit of age on it.  The bell pepper on the nose will be welcome to some and a problem for others.  Seems to be at peak right now.  Drink sooner than later.  

2014 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, USA, California, Napa, St. Helena, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

Do not open this bottle now without a long 8+ hours of decanting.  This is tight as a drum.  86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot.  Bright purple in color.  The nose has cedar and cassis.  With air, blueberries, chocolate and spice emerge.  On the palate, this has an almost seamless texture.  Shut down completely at first though and showing no fruit.  With air the cassis emerges along with a wall of tannins.  It seems like all the pieces parts are there, but in a four hour tasting, it never really opened.  Based on prior history with this winery and how it did sho

2014 Villa Pillo Borgoforte Toscana IGT, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+

This Super Tuscan blend has Sangiovese, Cabernet, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.  It retails for $15 which is a fair price.  The nose is dusty with cherries.  This is a relatively simple wine but good and easy drinking.  There is a bit of an under ripe vegetal note but not bad.  Good acidity.  This would work nicely with pizza or pasta or at a local Italian place.  

2005 Château Rol Valentin, France, Bordeaux, St. Emilion, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

Purple in color.  This is drinking quite well now.  Pretty classic right bank but perhaps still a skosh more room to develop.  The nose is nice with cherries, some cassis, cigar box and chocolate shavings.  On the palate, this has nice cherries, not super ripe, but nothing green.  Undertones of tobacco and damp earth.  Good balance.  Drank over two nights and while different just as good on each night.  Will work with most foods.  Really everything you could want from this wine at this point.  

2011 Ridge Monte Bello, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A

Monte Bello is one of the great wines of California.  87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, and 4% Cabernet Franc.  Though 2011 was a difficult vintage in most of California, Ridge hit a home run (again) with Monte Bello.  It might be drinking a bit earlier than other vintages, but it is a fantastic wine.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, cigar box, plums and char.  Very nice.  On the palate, this has a wonderful texture that is lush and full bodied but not over the top.  Plenty of cassis and plum fruit with underlying earthiness and slight char.  Good finish.  Works with medium and heav

2012 Realm Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A

Pop and pour, like many 2012's this seems a bit shut down right now.  Luckily, there was time to wait.  After about an hour it opened nicely.  inky purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, cassis, spice, dried cherries and a slight tobacco note.  On the palate, this is drinking quite well.  Black cherries and spice.  Nice texture.  Sill young, it unwinds in the glass.  Deep and tightly complex.  Good finish.  This is a robust wine that needs about five years of good cellaring.  It has a couple of decades left.  Will work with bigger foods but works great on its own right now.  

1997 Viader Proprietary Red, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1997
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Cabernet Franc.  Purple in color.  The nose is dusty with cassis, tobacco, and slight cherries.  On the palate, this has cassis and cedar over some tobacco and clay.  Nicely layered, this wine is drinking great right now.  Another Napa Cab that drinks like older Bordeaux with some years.  If you like mature wines, this is at peak, if you like fruit powerhouses, this is past.  It is balanced and very food friendly.  Drink up.  

2009 Sineann Abondante, USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

When you own a wine cellar, every so often you lose a bottle only to rediscover it a few years later.  Sometimes it is over the hill by then, but you never know.  This one was one of those.  Abondante is a blend of leftovers at Sineann.  It is a great value and usually, they are consumed in a year or two.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is leather with good dark cherry fruit.  A bit of spice.  On the palate, this is tart red berries.  Cherries mostly but something a bit deeper.  Slight tannins.  Good finish.  There is some complexity there but not a ton.  Very food friendly.  T

2010 Concha y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon Don Melchor, Chile, Puente Alto, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

Always nice to try this flagship wine of Chile.  Purple/ruby in color.  The nose has cassis, roasted herbs, and slight roasted meat.  On the palate, this is black cherries with underlying graphite.  The wine had been decanted for a few hours and needed every bit of it.  Medium tannins at that point.  It is deep and powerful but nicely balanced.  Long finish.  Went great with roasted eggplant and other veggies.  There may still be some upside but even if not, this is terrific now and should be at this level for at least another  decade.  

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