2020 Tablas Creek Dianthus, USA, California, Paso Robles, Adelaida, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$24.00USD

This is a Rose made in the style of Bandol, that is, a heartier style of Rose.  It is 48% Mourvedre. Light ruby/orange in color, clear and bright. The nose is  nice with cherries and slight orange notes.  On the palate, this is slightly viscous with cherries and a slight red licorice note.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  A very pleasant rose that will work well on its own or with all sorts of food off the grill.  Drink over the next few years.  

2013 Torrin The Banshee, USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$90.00USD

This is a blend of 48% Syrah, 32% Grenache, and 20% Mourvedre.  Still young, this is really starting to sing.  Purple, opaque and shimmering bright.  The nose is great with black raspberries, plums, some black cherries, spice, black pepper and roasted meats.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Lots of black raspberry and black cherry fruit.  Lovely texture.  Deep but tight layers.  Lots of energy.  Long finish.  This should drink well for the next ten to twelve years.  Great on its own, this will work well with spicy foods off the grill such as wings or ribs.  

2016 Château de la Grande Gardiole Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Vieilles Vignes, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$58.00USD

Another great vintage in the southern Rhone valley in France.  Deep garnet in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose is nice with cherries, black cherries, slight anise and floral notes (Violets?).  Medium bodied.  On the palate, the cherries and dark cherries come thru with underlying spices and roasted herbs.  Nice texture.  Good balance.  Nice finish.  This is drinking well now and should continue to do so for the next seven to ten years.  It drinks well on its own but will work better with foods.  Ribs off the grill would be a nice choice.  

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

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