2013 EMH Cabernet Sauvignon Black Cat Special Selection, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  This is very tight and in fact, much less forgiving than bottles tried a year and two years ago.  The nose is dusty with black cherries.  On the palate, cassis and medium tannins.  It opens a bit with air, but at this point, it should probably sleep for five years.  If you must open one, give it 8+ hours of air.  There is a nice wine in there once it opens up, but a much higher potential.  

2013 Mayacamas Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Mt. Veeder, Wine Review

This cab is known for being backwards and taking a long time to come around, yet, this, while still in need of cellar time was drinking quite well.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, and spice with some black cherries.  On the palate, cassis, spice and black licorice notes with firm but manageable tannins.  Goof balance and finish.  If drinking before 2013, give it some air, but it should go well with heavier or roasted dishes.  There is certainly some room for improvement.  One of the best Mayacamas Cabs in years!

2014 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, USA, California, Napa, St. Helena, Wine Review

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

2009 Château La Violette, France, Bordeaux, Pomerol, Wine Review

09 was a pretty open vintage especially on the right bank.  At age 9, this is drinking very well.  That said, there is plenty of room for further improvement.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, black raspberries, dark chocolate and char.  On the palate, this is juicy with a full bodied texture.  Black raspberries, layered with chocolate dust and slight oak notes.  Long finish.  This will work with roasted meats dishes quite well.  Another five years in the cellar and this should come together quite well.  If opening now, give it some air.  

1990 Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Jimsomare, USA, California, Santa Cruz Mountains

What a treat.  At age 28, this wine is excellent.  Fully mature of course, but it would be hard to call this past prime, although in fact it is.  More like it just depends on what you like.  It has that older Bordeaux quality but also some sunshine that many older Cal Cabs can get.  Ruby purple in color, a bit flat.  The nose has cassis, dust, slight dried fruit, damp earth and cigar box notes.  On the palate, this has a layered complexity.  Cassis and dried fruits layered with earth and tobacco.  Slightly dusty.  Nice balance and finish.  This would go with a wide variety of medium and hea

2013 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon RBS Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Inky purple in color.  The nose is gorgeous.  Cassis, violets, cedar and graphite.  Very concentrated.  On the palate, this starts out tight but opens in the glass.  Juicy fruit. Black raspberries and blueberries.  Firm tannins.  Very concentrated, this will benefit from at least five years of cellaring.  It has two decades left.  Long finish.  This needs big food right now, and give it plenty of air.  That said, it is drinking just great from a deliciousness point of view!

2003 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, France, Bordeaux, Wine Review

One of the great wines of Bordeaux well deserving of its second growth status.  This is from a very hot vintage that many wine makers had some trouble with.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, black cherries, slight tobacco and slight fresh floral notes.  On the palate, this is drinking quite well.  Showing some development, it is close but not yet at peak.  Layers of cassis and black cherry fruit, with some dry earthy forest floor.  Wispy tannins at this point.  Long finish.  Would work well with roasted meats and other foods.  Some possible upside still left.  

2008 Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Purple in color.  What a lovely nose of cassis, slight cedar, and graphite.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Young but past its childhood.  Ripe but not over ripe.  Cassis layered with cedar and slight mineral note.  Light tannins at this point.  Showing slight tertiary development.  Delicious.  Nice finish.  This will work with bigger foods.  It was nice to drink a Scarecrow with a bit of age on it.  This has a decade and more left on it.  

2014 Villa Pillo Borgoforte Toscana IGT, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

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.  

2015 Mirror Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

This is a high end Napa Cabernet.  It needs some time, but it is quite good.  The retail is $95, so certainly it is not within everyone's budget.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis and chocolate.  Also a bit of graphite.  On the palate, those flavors carry through.  The fruit is pretty ripe.  Lots of black raspberry and plum fruit.  Slight heat on the finish that I suspect will calm down with some bottle age.  This should improve by a point or two with a few years in the cellar and be good for a decade after.  Will work with heavier foods and on its own.