2013 Domaine du Collier Saumur La Charpentrie Rouge, France, Loire Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

This is from a region typically more known for their whites.  The owner of this winery is the son and nephew of the owners of Clos Rougeard, a "cult" wine in the Loire Valley.  This is Cabernet Franc from old vines.  It is a very nice wine.  Purple/ruby in color.  The nose has a slight barnyard with cherries, black licorice and slight hay quality.  On the palate, concentrated cherries.  Nice layering as this unwinds in the glass.  It has a soft texture but at the some time intense.  Long finish.  Certainly not over ripe, this wine will work better with food.  It would be interesting to try

2015 Tenuta di Trinoro Le Cupole Toscana IGT, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

This is a Bordeaux blend Super Tuscan wine from one of the top producers in Tuscany.  It is one of their less expensive offerings and is always an outstanding wine.  This wine is surprisingly open and drinking well already considering that 2015 is an outstanding vintage in Tuscany.  Purple in color with ruby swirls.  The nose has cassis, black cherries, slight tobacco and spice.  On the palate, this has a nice juiciness to it.  Black cherry fruit dominates at this point with some underlying tobacco/earth.  Light tannins.  Nice finish.  This might still improve but either way should be good

2015 Mulderbosch Faithful Hound, South Africa, Stellenbosch, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$18.00USD

This winery has recently been sold to new owners.  They are one of the largest producers in South Africa having opened in 1989.  Mostly known for their Chenin Blanc, this red is affordable and a great value too.  It is a blend of 32% Cabernet Franc, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot, and 7% Malbec.  The new label is plain and classy, but I always liked the old one with a picture of a dog.  A note for the 2013 is on this site and features that label.  The wine itself is drinking very well.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has cassis, plums, baking spice and slight tobacco not

2013 Palazzo Proprietary Red Reserve, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$90.00USD

Scott Palazzo makes some mighty fine wines out in Napa.  This one is no exception.  This is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon hence the "Right Bank" name.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is very nice with black cherries, cherries, a bit of dark chocolate, slight cigar box and spice.  On the palate, this has a lush texture but is by no means a fruit bomb.  Good acidity.  This will work well with a wide variety of foods especially roasts.  There are still tannins present and this did improve a bit with air.  It should continue to improve for the next few ye

2008 Les Angelots de Gracia, France, Bordeaux, Saint Emilion, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$85.00USD

This is the second wine of Gracia and is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc.  This sample was drinking very well right now.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, dark chocolate dust and slight coffee.  Certainly no issues with getting ripe.  The palate has light tannins.  Some depth.  Black cherry fruit over a dry earthiness.  Good finish.  This was not cheap; retailing at $85 compared to the First wines at around $135.  But it is a very good wine.  Should drink well for a decade as it matures.  Probably won't get better.  

2008 Château Latour Grand Vin, France, Bordeaux, Pauillac, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$600.00USD

Probably, this may be the best wine from Bordeaux in this vintage, but it is going to take a long, long time.  In any event, this is a wine that needs a week to decant now or just wait.  94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc.  Purple in color to the rim.  The nose has cassis, licorice, tobacco and heavy roast coffee.  On the palate, this is very concentrated and takes some time to open in the glass.  Firm tannins.  Lots of cassis fruit but packed densely, it is hard to get more than that, but at the same time, the fruit goes on forever.  There is some obvious oak at this p

2008 Château Lafite Rothschild, France, Bordeaux, Pauillac, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
99
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$1000.00USD

In a tasting of the top 2008's from Bordeaux, this was the WOTN (and mine) for drinking right now.  Of course, none of them are fully mature and need at least a decade.  This is a very special wine.   83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc.  Deep purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is classic with cassis, graphite, cedar, and cigar box.  On the palate, this is intense.  Lots of great cassis fruit intertwined with earthiness and cedar, it unwinds in layers in the glass.  The finish is very persistent and even seems to grow on the palate.  Great balance.  This is a w

2008 Château Margaux, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$465.00USD

This is 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.  It is a classic Margaux with a perfumed nose and plenty to seduce the palate.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has cassis, spice and floral/perfumed quality to it.  On the palate, this has medium tannins.  Lots of cassis fruit with minerality and slight cigar box.  Medium tannins that get a bit stronger in the glass.  It is very young but still accessible.  It is an outstanding wine that will require time to develop.  It has another couple decades for us to see how good it gets.  The group I tasted it w

2008 Château La Mission Haut-Brion, France, Graves, Pessac-Léognan, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$240.00USD

This is 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot, and 6% Cabernet Franc.  This was one of the least expensive wines in this magnificent tasting and really stood toe to toe with all of them.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, smoke, graphite and minerals.  Very expressive if not huge.  On the palate, there is a wonderful texture.  Cassis with layers of minerals and char.  Great balance.  Long finish.  This really took some time to open in the glass but then just kept getting better.  It seems like it will need another decade to fully mature and then have a couple more after that (which seems

2008 Château Haut-Brion, France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$450.00USD

This is  50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc.  A gorgeous wine that is still very young.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is pretty classic for Haut Brion with cassis, crushed gravel, slight asphalt and strawberries.  On the palate there are silky but firm tannins.  Deep and complex, the layers unwind in the glass.  Cassis and black cherries, slight strawberries over gravel and earth.  Great balance.  Long finish.  This needs  another ten years to maturity and should be there for a couple more decades after that.  It is delicious right now but give it air. 

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