2012 Sine Qua Non Grenache Stein, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$225.00USD

Few people make Grenache in California at a level of this.  Manfred Krankl, the owner/winemaker here, does it consistently.  It skirts the line of being large yet having elegance.  This is a blend of 76% Grenache, 16% Syrah, and 8% Mourvedre.  Just a delicious wine.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has great raspberry fruit along with black raspberries, char, black pepper and spice.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, the raspberries and black raspberries come thru.  Wonderful lush texture.  Underlying pepper and char.  Long finish.  This needs about five more years until peak an

1999 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1999
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$70.00USD

This was a very nice bottle.  It was clean and must have been well stored all of these years.  Ruby in color.  The nose has red berries (kind of a cross between cherries and raspberries) with slight violets, roasted herbs and a bit of black pepper.  On the palate, this has some depth and a bit of complexity.  At or slightly past peak (perhaps) but drinking wonderfully.  Cherries with roasted herbs and slight forest floor.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  No hurry but it won't get better and should probably be consumed in the next five to seven years though it will last longer.  It will go with

2016 Halcon Vineyards Esquisto, USA, California, Mendocino, Yorkville Highlands, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

This is a GSM blend of 70/10/20.  Still young, it needs some time, especially for the Syrah and Mourvedre to come out.  Ruby in color, slightly cloudy.  The nose has black cherries and baking spices.  On the palate, this is more raspberries but the baking spice are present.  Smooth and easy drinking but also some depth.  Medium bodied.  Good acidity.  Needs a few years and should have a decade more.  Will work on its own and worked great with a stuffed eggplant dish but roasted foods in general.  

2010 Saxum James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
99
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$140.00USD

This is really in a great spot right now.  Drinking superbly.  Will it get better?  Perhaps, but absolutely worth opening a bottle right now.   A blend of 52% Grenache, 26% Mourvèdre and 22% Syrah.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is great with black raspberries, white pepper, black cherries, and slight roasted coffee beans.  On the palate, this is soft, gulpable but also deep and complex.  Black raspberries and plums intertwined with char, slight earth and roasted meats.  A long finish.  It is delicious and a show stopper.  No rush, this should easily do another ten to fifteen

2001 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2001
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

Ruby in color, purple at the core.  The nose is slightly earthy with cherries, garrique and charred wood.  On the palate, this has nice cherry fruit with layers of forest floor and damp earth.  Nice acidity.  Seems to be at peak, depending how you like your wines.  Nice finish.  This will work great with roasts.  It probably needs to be drunk in the next five years or so.  

2003 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2003
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$110.00USD

This was a bit of a controversial wine on release due to the hot vintage and the extracted nature of the wine.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has black cherries, spice, and slight earthiness.  On the palate, this has calmed down since release.  There are nice black cherries, but it is not hot or over ripe.  Plenty of depth.  It has settled into adulthood quite well.  Layers of fruit, earth and spice.  Nice finish.  It works well with grilled peppers or probably most grilled foods.  It won't get better and probably should be drunk in the next five to seven years, perhaps a few

2012 Domaine Font de Michelle Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Etienne Gonnet, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

This is a big wine, but it was surprising how well it is drinking now.  Purple in color.  Plums, black cherries, spice, slight floral all make up an enticing nose.  On the palate, this has a lush but crisp texture.  Plenty of juicy fruit; plums black cherries and even some black raspberries intertwined with spices and charcoal over a slight earthiness.  Good energy.  Long finish.  This seems so good today, it doesn't appear that it will get better but will certainly change as it matures.  It will go great with casseroles and stews as well as burgers and steaks.  It has another five to seven

2012 Saxum James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$125.00USD

A blend of 43% Grenache, 29% Mourvedre, 18% Syrah and 10% Counoise.  This wine is still on the young side but is open and with a bit of air, was drinking great.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, slight charred wood, black pepper, roasted herbs and roasted meats.  On the palate, what a wonderful texture.  Almost seamless.  Juicy black raspberry fruit.  Underlying char and roasted meats.  Great energy and balance.  This will continue to mature for the next five to ten years and be good for ten to fifteen after that.  The alcohol is high, but there is hint of it although

2016 Domaine du Grand Montmirail Gigondas Cuvée Vieilles Vignes, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$27.00USD

This was from Magnum.  Deep purple in color.  The nose is great with black raspberries, black cherries, garrique and char.  On the palate, this is as good as many Chateauneuf du Papes.  Deep black raspberry notes with underlying charred wood.  Medium tannins.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  This is young and has at least a decade left and probably more.  The juiciness and char would make it great with burgers or steaks on the grill.  At $43 for a Magnum, this is a great value.  

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