2008 Sineann Cabernet Franc Champoux Vineyard, USA, Oregon, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

This is doing quite well at 11 years from vintage.  It is a Washington state Cab Franc that in its youth was boisterous and ripe but has calmed down, picked up some funk and is drinking well.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, cherries, slight tobacco and baking spice.  On the palate, this has wispy tannins.  Good juicy black cherry fruit with underlying char and a bit of forest floor.  Good balance.  Nice finish.  Works well on its own or with some bigger or medium foods especially roast.  

2011 Kapcsándy Family Winery Rapszodia, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$200.00USD

Kapcsandy makes some of the best wines in Napa (and the world).  This one is a bit less well known.  It is a blend of 62% Cabernet Franc and 38% Merlot (so think the Cheval Blanc of Napa).  2011 was a difficult vintage but this wine is outstanding if perhaps not as good as the following vintages.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, cigar tobacco and just a hint of bell pepper.  On the palate, this has a wonderful texture.  It is a bit more demur than typical Kapcsandy bottles, but it is drinking quite well.  Black cherry fruit with an underlying earthy/tobacco quality.  Light ta

2010 Catherine et Pierre Breton Bourgueil Les Galichets, Loire, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

This a very nice value in Cabernet Franc made from biodynamically grown grapes.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is nice.  2010 was a warmer vintage and that matters for Cab Franc.  If under ripe, it can be a bit green.  Very nice black cherry fruit along with some cigar tobacco.  On the palate, this has a nice texture.  The black cherry fruit carries thru.  Good acidity.  There is some forest floor which is nice.  This begs for food and worked well with middle eastern fare.  Good finish.  Drinking well now but should cruise thru the next ten years.  

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

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$125.00USD

A gorgeous California Cab as good as just about anything grown in the northern part of the state.  84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc and the rest Merlot.  This vintage has much less Cabernet Sauvignon than typical.  It is in a great spot right now.  Young but it has shed its baby fat and is drinking quite well.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, pencil lead, slight tobacco, a bit of chocolate and some cherry notes.  On the palate, this has light tannins.  Plenty of cassis and cherry fruit with some earthy tobacco notes underneath.  Complex.  Good balance.  Lon

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

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