2016 Saxum Terry Hoage Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Willow Creek District, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$129.00USD

Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  This is a blend of 43% Grenache, 43% Syrah and 14% Mataro.  It comes in at 15.6% abv, but it is not noticeable on the wine.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  There is a bit of volatile acidity on the nose but it was not bothersome.  Lots of black cherry fruit with black raspberries and white pepper.  Strong acidity.  On the palate, black cherries, and some black raspberries.  Complex and deep.  Long finish.  This is drinking well now and should continue for another ten to fifteen years.  Great on its own, this would be nice with ribs off th

2016 Saxum The Hexe, USA, California, Paso Robles, Willow Creek District, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$314.00USD

This is a blend of 56% Grenache, 13% Petite Sirah, 10% Syrah, 9% Mataro, 7% Zinfandel and 5% Tempranillo.  The bottle lists 15.7% abv but it is not noticeable on the wine.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with black cherries, black raspberries, gravel, and black pepper.  Great backbone of acidity.  On the palate, though young, this is showing a nice complexity.  Medium tannins.  Black cherries and black raspberries with underlying char and gravel.  Long finish.  Delicious.  This may still improve a bit but is drinking great now and should continue for another twe

2017 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$85.00USD

Purple in color, ruby at the rim, opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with plums, black pepper, and black cherries.  Full bodied.  Lovely texture.  On the palate, plums and cherries with slight char.  Clean.  Good balance.  Long finish.  This is young and showing ripe fruit.  It is drinking well but may improve with a few more years of cellaring.  Drink over the next ten to twelve years.  it will work well with braised meats.  

2000 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2000
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$105.00USD

This is a blend of 30% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise, and the rest is the other permitted varietals.  At age 22, it is showing some age and a bit past prime.  This bottle had been bought on release and well cellared.  Ruby/brown in color, clear and bright.  The nose has cherries, dried cherries, soy/umami, and spice.  Medium bodied.  There are some drying tannins left.  Better on the palate.  Complex with layers of dried and fresh cherries.  Good balance.  Nice finish.

2017 E. Guigal Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

This is a blend of 70% old Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre, 10% Syrah, 5% other allowed grapes.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim, opaque and bright.  It was interesting to drink this side by side with the Gigondas.  The CdP is a much bigger and more complex wine (and more expensive).  The nose has black cherries, cherries, spice, smoke and black pepper.  Medium to full bodied.  Good balance.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Open and drinking well but with depth and complexity.  Flavors of black cherries, plums and spice with light tannins.  This is drinking well on its own and will work well wi

2017 E. Guigal Gigondas, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$35.00USD

This is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20 % Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre.  In many ways, Gigondas has been thought of as Chateauneuf du Pape's little brother and for Guigal, that is an apt comparison.  Drunk side by side, this seemed lighter and easier although similar.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim, opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries and spice and a hint of anise.  Medium bodied.  Good acidity.  On the palate, black cherries and cherry fruit with a bit of spice on the finish.  Nice finish.  This will work better with food that on its own.  Cassoulet is a classic match.  Drink over t

2018 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$12.00USD

The Guigal Cotes du Rhone is consistently one of the best values in wine.  This is the red, but they also make white and rose.  It is  a blend of 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, and 10% Mourvèdre.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is dusty, slight earthiness with black cherries and black raspberries.  Medium to full bodied.  Very tasty.  Nice texture.  This drinks easy but it also has some stuffing.  On the palate, light tannins with black raspberries and black cherries.  Well balanced.  Amazingly, they make 4.5 million bottles of this wine and keep the quality

2020 Domaine de Grangeneuve L'Initiale H, France, Rhone, Grignan-les-Adhémar, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+

This is from the northernmost AOC in the southern Rhone Valley in France.  It is a blend of 65% Grenache and 35% Syrah.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries and black raspberries with spice and slight floral note.  Full bodied.  Nice balance.  On the palate, lots of deep black cherry fruit.  A bit chunky in a rustic sort of way.  Good finish.  This is a nice value wine that will work well with a pizza or or burger.  Drink over the next few years.  

2020 Domaine de Châteaumar Côtes du Rhône Cuvée Vincent, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$19.00USD

One of my go value wines.  Just about every vintage in the southern Rhone is good these days, so this is usually good, too.  Certainly 2020 fits right in with prior vintages.  Purple in color with some ruby swirls.  The nose is nice with black cherries, char, spice and slight floral notes.  Medium to full bodied.  Nice texture.  This drinks easily with lots of black cherry fruit and underlying char.  Nice finish.  I suppose it will age for five to seven years, but I usually just drink mine right away.  Nice on its own, this is great with chili, or stew.  

2013 Saxum James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Willow Creek, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$165.00USD

This is a blend of 45% Grenache, 29% Mourvedre, 18% Syrah and 8% Counoise.  15.7% abv.  Just a beautiful wine, albeit a bit young at age 9.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with black cherries, black raspberries, black pepper, plums and char.  Full bodied with a lush, rich texture.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Loads of black cherries and black raspberries with some pepper and spice.  Light to medium tannins.  Long finish.  This should drink well for the next twelve to fifteen years.  Great on its own, this will work well with meats or veggies off the grill

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