2004 A. Rafanelli Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Sonoma, Dry Creek Valley, Wine Review

Purple in color.  The nose is very nice with cassis, a bit of barnyard, slight tobacco and dust.  On the palate, this seems to be at peak.  Plenty of fresh cassis fruit but some tertiary development is showing as layers of damp earth, and slight decayed vegetation (in a good way).  Tannins are just about resolved.  It did seem to improve slightly in a decanter as it opened up and blew off a bit of bottle stink.  Nice finish.  Worked well with a nice plate of pasta.  It won't get better from here, and these should probably be drunk in the next five to ten years depending on how you like you

2016 Ravage Wines Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Wine Review

This retails for between $8 and $13 depending on location and store.  It certainly would be a fun wine for a Halloween party.  And for the price, this will be a popular wine at the party.  Bright, deep purple in color.  The nose has black cherries and some black raspberries with some dust and a bit of spice.  On the palate, this is ever so slightly sweet/ripe.  Lots of black cherry fruit as well.  It has a lush texture and drinks well on its own.  Would work with bigger foods or apps.  An interesting mid-evil looking label.  Is this amazing?  Not really.  But, one could pay twice as much fo

2012 Realm Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard

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.  

2013 Maybach Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Materium, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Wow.  This wine should make old bones, but it is so good now, it is not likely to.  Stunning wine that seemingly gets better and better.  This bottle was consumed over 4 hours and the last glass was the best.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has cassis, graphite, cedar, blueberries and spice.  On the palate, this has a seamless texture.  Delicious.  Deep and tightly layered; it explodes in the glass.  Tons of cassis and blue berries layered with minerality and spice.  Medium tannins.  Long finish.  It does need bigger or spicier food, but it is oh so good.  

2012 Hobel Wine Works Cabernet Sauvignon Engelhard Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

2012 is such an interesting vintage.  An excellent one to be sure, but the wines were so open on release and they have slowly closed over time.  This one was tight and really needed a few hours of air to open up and show its stuff.  Purple in color with some ruby swirls.  The nose is great.  Very concentrated cassis, spice, leather and slight black cherries.  On the palate, this is again quite concentrated.  It opens in the glass with plenty of cassis.  Medium tannins.  A fair amount of oak/spice still left.  This probably needs five more years of good cellaring to hit its peak.  Will work

2014 Quilt Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

This was consumed over two days and distinctly better on Day 2.  Purple in color.  On Day 1, there is a lot of oak showing.  The fruit is tight.  On Day 2, the nose has nice cassis with spice and underlying char.  On the palate, medium tannins.  They integrate on Day 2 with nice cassis, black cherries and char.  Some level of complexity.  This needs a couple of years in the cellar.  The difference between day 1 and day 2 was probably 3 points in terms of accessibility, complexity and friendliness.  For a wine that retails for $40, show some patience.    Might even have more upside to it in

2017 7 Moons Dark Side Red, USA, California, Wine Review

This is a blend of Syrah, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Grenache.  It is a very drinkable wine that lists 13.5% Alc.  It retails for around $10 and this is a great value.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, black cherries, cocoa and plums.  On the palate, this is slightly sweet.  Light tannins.  A nice varietal complexity.  Tart acidity. Long finish.  This probably should be drunk in the next few years.  Will work with a wide variety of foods.  Easy drinking and fun.  

2016 Miriam Alexandra Cabernet Sauvignon Napa County, USA, California, Wine Review

Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is dusty with cassis, slight tobacco and slight cocoa.  A bit drying on the palate.  Nice cassis fruit.  Some depth, there may be some upside to cellaring this wine for a few years.  Light tannins.  Not a huge wine at all.  Will work with a wide variety of foods.   Available at Nakedwines.com.  

2016 Camille Benitah Cabernet Sauvignon Foncé, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Purple/ruby in color.  The nose has cassis, dust and a bit of spice.  On the palate, this has firm tannins.  Slightly tart acidity.  Plenty of cassis fruit with an underlying grittiness which is interesting.  It is a big and easy to drink Napa Cab but should have some upside over the next few years.  Plenty of fruit and not over ripe.  Will work with medium and heavier bodied foods.  Available at Nakedwines.com.

2006 Tenuta San Guido Bolgheri Sassicaia Sassicaia, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Wow.  Great wine.  Pop and pour, this got better or at least kept opening up all night.  Purple in color with a ruby rim.  Gorgeous nose of cassis, cigar box, nutmeg, and cherries.  On the palate, this has great layering that unwinds in the glass.  Cherries, cassis, earth and tobacco.  A nice backbone of acidity helps it work well with foods.  Delicious but complex.  If still youthful, not too far from peak but at least a couple of decades of life left.  Long finish.  

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