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
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.
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.
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
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.
This is another label from Cathy Corison who is known for making old school Napa Cabs and other wines. Despite the coolness of the vintage, this wine manages to not show under ripe qualities and yet be consistent with the Corison style. Ruby/purple in color. The nose has black cherries, cherries, cigar tobacco and slight dustiness. On the palate, this has a nice complexity. Drinks a bit older than it is but that is more profile than age. Dust, tobacco, dried and fresh cherries. Good balance. Food friendly. Nice finish. $53. This is a nice change of pace for Napa and easily has an
This is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and a little Syrah from three different vineyards in the Red Mountain AVA or Washington state. At 12 years from vintage it seems to be in a great spot although it should have at least 5 more years before starting to slowly go downhill. Purple in color. The nose is nice with cherries, coffee, leather, slight chocolate, cassis and tobacco. On the palate, this is still fresh with lot of fruit; cherries and black raspberries. Layers of fruit, damp earth and tobacco. Nice finish. This is not a big wine, but not shy either. Wo
From the venerable Chateau Haut Brion, this is an inexpensive rose. A blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Light salmon in color. Strawberries on the nose. The palate is clean with "red berries", mostly strawberries. This is easy and drinks well. Perhaps not the energy or brightness it had last year, so these should probably be drunk sooner than later. Works well with food.
39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Cabernet Franc, 16% Merlot, 14% Malbec and 9% Petit Verdot. This is a Bordeaux styled wine from South Africa. It sells for under $20 making it a very nice buy. Purple in color, ruby at the rim. The nose is very nice; dusty and complex with cassis, tobacco, some bell pepper. On the palate, this has a chewy texture. Nice complexity. Cassis, dark cherries with enough acid. Good finish. Drinking well now and won't get better but should hold for another five years at least.
Ruby/purple in color. This is a red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot,Tannat, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petite Sirah. A sort of kitchen sink blend that costs around $15. It's a nice wine for the money and easy to drink. Ruby/purple in color. The nose is a bit warm with alcohol but also some cherries, black raspberries and slight char. On the palate, this is mostly cherry fruit. Easy drinking. Warm but not hot. There is some varietal complexity. Fun label. Good party wine.