2015 Realm Cellars The Bard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$145.00USD

A question that comes up on occasion is whether a $125 bottle can be considered a value.  In this case, I say yes.  A Napa Cab of this quality often costs 4 times the price and rarely less.  The Bard is consistent from vintage to vintage and a truly great wine.  This is a blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot and the remaining grapes are Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.  Inky purple in color.

2015 Palazzo Red Cuvee, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

Nice to get a chance to revisit this.  It has come together nicely and improved a bit since release.   50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and 25% Cabernet Franc.  This is made from those barrels which did not qualify for the top wines.  Purple in color with some ruby at the rim.  The nose is nice with cherries, tobacco, sour cherries, sandalwood and anise.  On the palate, this is drinking great.  I doubt it gets any better but certainly has another five years.  Lots of red fruits and a bit darker with some earthiness.  Light tannins.  Nice finish.  This will go with a wide variety of foods

2013 Alexander Valley Vineyards Cyrus, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$46.00USD

Purple in color.  The nose has nice cassis, dust, cherries and slight green bell pepper.  On the palate, this has medium tannins.  Good cassis fruit over a dry earthiness.  Light tannins.  The bell pepper is only on the nose.  This has some complexity at this point.  Good finish.  Not uber ripe but certainly not under ripe either.  Drinking well, it may possibly still improve with further cellaring.  Will work better with bigger or spicy foods but is ok on its own.  64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot, 5% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot

2015 J. Bookwalter Cabernet Franc Suspense Conner-Lee Vineyard, USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

This is a very nice Cab Franc from Washington.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has black cherries, tobacco and slight bell pepper.  On the palate, this has a nice complexity.  Good fruits black cherries and cherries with underlying herbal notes.  Good finish.  Slight tannins.  This works better with foods and went well with a home made pizza.  It seems still young and might get better but should easily last another 5 to ten years.  

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.  

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