2005 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$110.00USD

Always one of the top Chateauneuf's and also a bit different than most due to the higher amounts of Mourvedre in the blend.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is classic Beaucastel which can be polarizing.  Black cherries, plums and a fair bit of barnyard.  Very earthy.  Full bodied.  On the palate, lots of black cherries and plums but cleaner earthiness than the nose.  Complex, deep and layered.  Long finish.  This is at peak right now if well stored.  Drink over the next seven to ten years.  This drinks well on its own but will be better with food.  Braised meats or roasted ve

2005 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$125.00USD

One of the top producers in Chateauneuf, at age 15, this is singing.  Deep garnet in color, clear and bright.  The nose is great with cherries, kirsch, licorice, slight dried flowers and spices.  Medium to full bodied.  What a great texture.  Lush yet energetic.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Lots of kirsch notes with underlying clean earthiness.  Complex and layered.  Long finish.  Sure seems just about at peak but should drink well for another ten years.  Great on its own, even better with food.  Stews or roasts would be great.  

2017 Domaine Tour Saint-Michel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée du Lion, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

Another new winery for me.  This was quite good.  A blend of 75% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre.  Deep ruby in color with purple swirls.  Great nose of cherries, black cherries, floral notes, and spice.  Clean.  On the palate, this is medium bodied and quite concentrated.  Black cherries and cherries over a clean spice and earth.  Nice balance.  Good finish.  This still needs three to five years to maturity and should be good for ten after that.  It worked well with vegetarian chili.  

2017 Domaine du Grand Montmirail Gigondas Le coteau de mon rêve, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

Gigondas is a great place to find nice value in Rhone wines.  Montmirail is a good choice for producers in Gigondas.   This is a blend of 75% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 5% Mourvèdre.  Purple in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries, black raspberries, black pepper, and some earthiness.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, the black cherry fruit dominates over an earthy/forest floor base.  Nice balance.  Mild tannins.  Good finish.  This is drinking well but may still get a bit better over the next five to seven years.  It will drink well for ten to twelve more years

2007 Domaine Charvin Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$100.00USD

This performed above expectations.  It is in a really great place right now.  Purple in color with a thin ruby lip.  The nose is classic with black cherries, cherries, black olives, garrique and slight dried flowers.  This is a bit bigger than most vintages but still has that Charvin sinewy texture and energy.  It is not a big wine.  Nice black cherry fruit with a base of semi-clean earthiness.  Great balance.  Layers of depth and complexity.  Long finish.  Delicious.  This bottle seemed just about at peak but should be hears for at least another decade.  Drinks great on its own but will wo

2018 Cellier des Dauphins Côtes du Rhône Les Dauphins Cuvée Spéciale, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$11.00USD

Cotes du Rhones offer up some excellent values.  Add to that the Rhone Valley (especially in the Southern Rhone) seems to have eight or nine good to great vintages a decade, and it can be a go to source of outstanding values.  This wine is certainly one.  It appears to be a Grenache/Syrah blend but the exact blend is unknown.  The bottle is attractively packaged with an unusual shape and a colorful "Old-timey" label.  Deep ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose has black cherries, roasted meats, slight cinnamon and nutmeg with a slight earthiness.  Medium bodied.  There is a nice

2013 Saxum Heart Stone Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Adelaida District, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$120.00USD

Normally, I like to let these wines rest for ten years or so prior to opening, but sometimes, it can't be helped.  For me, the Hearstone opens a bit earlier than the others (along with the Paderewski).  This is a blend of 54% Syrah, 35% Grenache, and 11% Mourvedre.  Pop and pour, this took a while to open and the last glass was the best.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper, roasted meats, slight black olives and a bit of black cherries.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, this has a great juicy, muscular texture.  Powerful  Load

2010 Domaine Paul Autard Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée La Cote Ronde, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A

This is still a bit on the young side but with a few hours of air, it drank well.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  Opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with cherries, spice, minerals, black raspberries and smoke.  On the palate, this is full bodied with a rich, lush texture.  Lots of juicy black and red raspberries with underlying pepper, and earthiness.  Good acidity.  Deep with tight layers that unwind in the glass.  Long finish.  This needs about three to five more years until peak and should drink great for ten to fifteen more after that.  It drinks great on its own and will work wel

2019 Alvaro Palacios Priorat Camins del Priorat, Spain, Priorat, WIne Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$21.00USD

From one of the original wineries in Priorat's rebirth in the early 1990's.  This is an entry level wine. It is a blend of 35% Garnacha, 24% Syrah, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cariñena, 10% Merlot and 3% other grapes.  Purple/ruby in color.  The nose has black cherries with a slightly sweet black licorice note.  On the palate, this is sweet and jammy, ripe black cherries.  Nice texture. Monolithic.  Of course, this is young so it may develop more.  It drinks better on its own right now than with food.  Probably best to drink over the next three to five years.  

2001 Cuvée du Vatican Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve Sixtine, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2001
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$65.00USD

This is drinking great and pretty much at peak.  Pop and pour, it took about 20 minutes to open and was good to go.  Purple in color with some ruby swirls with slight browning.  A bit flat and a bit shiny.  The nose is great with black cherries, spice, dried flowers, plums, minerals and slight char.  Medium bodied.  A nice backbone of acidity.  The palate has plenty of fruit left with plums and black cherries.  Underneath there is some minerality, spice and slight earthiness.  This has nice layering and complexity.  Nice finish.  Delicious.  At this stage, this works better with some food,

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