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.  

2016 Clos du Mont-Olivet Côtes du Rhône, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$17.00USD

This is a great value in red wine.  It is mostly Grenache from the Southern Rhone Valley.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has cherries, slight floral notes, garrique and slight salinity.  On the palate, this is medium bodied.  Bright cherry flavors with a bit of minerality.  Some depth and complexity.  Good finish.  This is very food friendly, it should go well at the table with a wide variety of foods.  It probably does not improve but should be good for another 5 to 7 years.  

2013 Next of Kyn Syrah No~7 Cumulus Vineyard, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$315.00USD

From the producers of Sine Qua Non, this is the 7th edition of this wine.  The label says 15.8% but there is no hint of heat.  This vintage is a blend of 45% Syrah, 29% Grenache, 15% Petite Sirah, 5% Mourvèdre, 4.5% Touriga Nacional and 1.5% Roussanne.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, red licorice, black pepper, baking spices with a bit of leather/earth.  On the palate, this is rich.  Almost seamless.  It took quite a while to really open up suggesting that this wine still needs about five years depending on your tastes.  Delicious with flavors of black raspberries an

2001 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2000
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$85.00USD

A fine showing for this wine.  At age 18, it is drinking well with plenty of time left.  This bottle was decanted for sediment and served.  It could have used an hour in the decanter or more to really open.  The last glass was the best.  Deeper ruby in color, mostly opaque.  The nose is clean for the most part.  Cherries, raspberries, some earthiness and nice minerality on the nose.  On the palate, this is medium to full bodied.  Plenty of depth with nice layering in the glass.  A lot of fruit left; cherries and raspberries and some black raspberries, over a dry earthy quality.  This bottle

2013 Epoch Estate Wines Ingenuity, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$68.00USD

This is a blend of 54% Syrah, 21% Mourvèdre, 16% Grenache and 9% Petite Sirah.  It is a big wine that really needed some time to settle down.  Even 6 years from vintage isn't really enough.  That said, with a couple hours of air, this was drinking beautifully.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has black raspberries, plums, black cherries, and spice.  Perhaps a bit of black pepper.  On the palate, this is thick and big.  A bit chunky on opening but it smoothed out with air.  Lots of black raspberry fruit with some black cherries.  An underlying charred earthiness.  Good finish.  T

2001 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de mon Aïeul, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2001
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$105.00USD

This was given an hour in the decanter after decanting for sediment.  Purple/ruby in color.  This took a long time to come around.  In fact, we gave it another hour and then it finally started to open (2 hours total).  The nose is clean with raspberries, garrigue, and black licorice.  What a wonderful texture.  Silky yet plush and almost seamless.  Showing a bit of age, but then with more air it revived even further.  Lots of black and red raspberries, black cherries, lavender and spice.  Deep and tightly layered.  Long finish.  The proverbial last glass was the best.  This bottle was bough

2010 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$200.00USD

This is still quite young and patience will be rewarded.  That said, if you have a few or like them young, then this is great now too.  This bottle was decanted for four hours prior to drinking.  Inky purple in color.  The nose is black raspberries, charred wood, pepper, spice but also a lovely little lavender.  On the palate, this is big.  Brooding but still shows black raspberries, blueberries, black pepper and slight charred earth.  Medium tannins.  A nice streak of acidity.  Long finish.  This wine begs for food.  Cassoulet, steak or roasted vegetables would be great.  Probably another

2016 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$65.00USD

2016 is a stellar year in Chateauneuf du Pape and the southern Rhone Valley.  While this wine has years left in it, it was wonderful to drink now.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is great.  Clean with black cherries, dust, spice and slight lavender notes.  On the palate, this has a wonderful texture.  Juicy black cherry fruit.  An underlying minerality.  Lots of depth.  Good finish.  It is a big wine at the moment, but will no doubt mellow and gain in complexity as it loses some of that youthful fruit.  This easily has a decade and more left to it, but it really is worth drinki

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