2009 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de mon Aïeul, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

One of the great Chateauneufs Du Pape and from a great vintage.  This is 100 percent Grenache.  Ruby/purple in color, clear and bright.  The nose is very nice with cherries, spices and "garrique".  On the palate, black cherries.  The depth seems a bit lacking for the pedigree but perhaps is is a bit shut down at this point.  It is a delicious wine and enjoyable.  It's more of under-performing high expectations.  Tasted twice over the last six months with consistent notes.  It is food friendly but will take heartier stews and meat dishes.  

2017 Cruse Wine Company Monkey Jacket, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

This is a hodgepodge of grapes made in a "natural wine" style.  Twenty-five percent Alicante Bouschet, Grenache, Cinsault, Mondeuse, and Zinfandel from one source; another 25% Valdiguié; and the rest Syrah, Tannat, St. Laurent, and Carignan made from vineyards across California.  This was being closed out at a local wine store for $20.  Ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose has a sweaty sock quality to it.  Once you get past that, there are some cherries and pomegranate notes.

2015 Saxum James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
99
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$135.00USD

My friend Charlie came by.  Now Charlie likes his wines big and young and we both love Saxum.  That sure seemed like a great opportunity to pull and young'un from the cellar and see what it was showing.  The surprising thing was how good and accessible this was already.  It's not at peak and will improve with cellaring, but if you have more than one, it's not a tragedy to open one now.  33% Grenache, 32% Mourvedre, 24% Syrah and 11% Counoise.   Purple in color, slight ruby line at the rim.  The nose is great with black raspberries, roasted meats, white pepper and slight floral notes.  This

2015 Xavier Vignon Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Anonyme, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

An outstanding CdP.  A blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Mourvèdre and the rest Counoise, Vaccarèse and Muscardin.  This is ripe, juicy and delicious if not the "classic" CdP in style.  Purple in color, ruby swirls.  On the nose this has boysenberries, sandalwood, char and slight floral notes.  On the palate, this is juicy with big boysenberry fruit.  There is a nice under layer of spice.  Long finish.  One of those wines that each sip tastes so good you want to have another.  It will be interesting to see this age and lose the baby fat.  Probably should last another fifteen years anyway.  Will wo

2013 El Escoces Volante Garnacha Es Lo Que Hay Viñas Viejas, Spain, Calatayud, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+

This is an inexpensive Spanish Garnacha (Grenache) from Spain.  Ruby/purple in color.  The nose has dusty black cherries.  Sweet and slightly candied on the palate with black cherry fruit as well.  Clean.  This sells for around $20.  It will work with heartier foods.  This should be consumed in the next few years.  A fun wine that should be a hit among non-wine geeks.  

2015 K Vintners The Boy, USA, Washington, Walla Walla, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+

Wine is subjective and this wine got some huge reviews from major critics.  I can't get quite that far.  This is a good wine though.  100% Grenache from Powerline Vineyard.  Ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose is cherry cough syrup but in a good way.  Not over the top.  Also some smoke and a bit of leather.  On the palate, the cherry cough syrup predominates.  That is to say, thick, slightly sweet, with alcohol.  There is some underlying char.  Warm on the finish.  One glass goes a long way and this would work by the fire on a cold night.  It might be a difficult food match.  YMMV.  

2012 Sine Qua Non Grenache Stein, USA, California, Central Coast, Ventura, Wine review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A

Deep ruby in color.  The nose has nice cherries, black cherries and black raspberries with baking spice and a bit of pepper.  Full bodied with a great texture.  Nice backbone of acidity.  On the palate, black raspberries with some black cherries.  This is young and needs a few years to develop but quite tasty right now.  Not a monster wine by any means.  Will work with medium and big foods.  

2016 Bodegas Canopy Castillo de Belarfonso, Spain, Méntrida, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+

This is a Garnacha from near the city of Toledo in Spain.  Ruby in color.  The nose has some cherries with an herbal quality and some anise.  On the palate, this is light bodied with good acidity.  Some tannins though give it a bit of extra weight.  Cherries and slight bitter cherries on the nose with just a bit of earthiness.  Good finish.  This should be very food friendly for a wide range of foods.  Drinking well now and should be for 5 years.  

2014 Bonterra Vineyards The Butler Single Vineyard, USA, California, Mendocino, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

This is made from a Biodynamic vineyard from Rhone styles grapes.  It is a blend of Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache and Zinfandel.  It retails for around $45.  This was tasted over two days and significantly more open and better on Day 2.  It is young and in need of a good decant or more cellaring.  That said, it is very nice now.  Purple in color.  On the nose, there is boysenberry, black cherries, some black pepper and coffee grounds.  On the palate, this is concentrated but not a big wine.  Boysenberry and black cherry fruit.  Underlying peppery-ness and smoke.  Some medium tannins.  Good aci

2012 Torrin Law Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Grade: 
A

Torrin is a winery we have been urging people to sign up for their mailing list for a while now.  And every year they keep ratcheting up the quality.  It was nice to go back six years to try this.  Probably not yet at maturity but past the baby stages and getting close.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper, char and slight roasted meats.  On the palate, this is big but concentrated and not exuberant.  Black raspberry fruit with underlying char.  It took some time to open but revealed and deep and complex wine.  Nice finish.  This needs big or spicy food but a

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