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

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$65.00USD

What a great showing for this wine.  Yes, it is still a bit young, but really one of the best showings from this house I have seen.  Time to get a few more bottles.  It is 75% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, and 5% Cinsault.  Purple in color, ruby at the core.  The nose is great with black raspberries, baking spices, garrique and slight lavender.  Full bodied.  Luxurious texture.  Rich and full bodied.  Medium tannins.  Lots of concentrated black raspberry fruit over a bed of char and gravel.  Long finish.  Delicious.  One of those wine when each sip makes one want another.  It drinks g

2015 Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

Tablas Creek has some great levels of wine clubs which offer up wines not available outside the winery or in different formats.  This one is easily available although this particular bottle was from a 375ml bottle ($25).  It is a blend of 49% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache, 21% Syrah, and 5% Counoise.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  A lovely nose of black raspberries, raspberries, spice and anise.  On the palate, this has firm tannins but the fruit is open and drinking well.  Juicy black raspberries, raspberries, over a clean dry earthiness with just a touch of char.  This is a big wine but no

1999 Domaine de la Mordorée Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de la Reine des Bois

Vintage: 
1999
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

i don't often drink Chateauneuf's with this much age on them.  This one has held up well.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose is earthy with black cherries, slight sandalwood, some dried cherries and a bit of chocolate.  The fruit on the palate is still fresh and lively with some depth.  Underlying earthiness.  Good balance. Some but not a lot of depth or complexity.  This won't get better and probably needs to be consumed sooner than later.  It is food friendly and will work well with stews, roasts and chili.  

2016 Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas, USA, California, Paso Robles, Adelaida District, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$55.00USD

This is blend of 46% Mourvedre, 31% Syrah, 18% Grenache, and 5% Counoise grapes.  Tasted from a 375ml bottle.  In a full bottle, these will age wonderfully.  In this format, they should still age well, but this was a great chance to check in on the wine.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has plums, black raspberries, black cherries, spice and char.  On the palate, this has a lovely texture.  Energetic.  Medium tannins.  Right now, the black cherries dominate but that will change as it ages.  Delicious.  Good finish.  This should be versatile with food and go well with fowl or meat dishes and r

2014 Jaffurs High Tide, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$46.00USD

A blend of 57% Mourvèdre, 29% Grenache and 14% Syrah.  Deeper ruby in color, purple at the core.  The nose has black cherries, cherries, some floral notes, black pepper and spice.  On the palate, this is medium bodied.  Black cherry fruit with some black raspberries over a slight char and a slight dried lavender note.  Good balance.  Lots of energy.   Good finish.  This is drinking well now and while it might not get better it should morph a bit darker with age.  It will work well with stews and casseroles.  It should drink well for the next seven to ten years.  

2016 Saint-Cosme Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

This is a producer who first got recognition for their fantastic Gigondas wines.  They have since expanded their releases all over the southern and northern Rhone.  Their Chateauneuf is also stellar.  It is a blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, and 10% each of Syrah and Cinsault.  Deep ruby in color, purple at the core.  The nose is tight upon opening.  With air, raspberries, black raspberries and mineral/gravel emerge.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Lots of black cherry fruit with some raspberries.  Medium tannins.  Bright acidity.  This will work well with roasts and casseroles.  I

2009 Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Impériale, France, Rhone, Wine review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$85.00USD

This was tasted from a magnum that had been opened for a couple of hours.  Delicious and drinking great.  2009 has been an open and for the most part, accessible vintage since release, yet also an excellent vintage.  Made from 90% Grenache.  Deep ruby in color, purple at the core.  The nose has raspberries, spice, dust and a bit of an interesting pine note.  What a great texture it has.  On the palate, there are raspberries over a charred wood with just a hint of the pine.  It has some complexity as it unwinds in the glass.  A long finish.  This is not a brute wine and indeed, more elegant

NV Penfolds Grandfather Rare Tawny, Australia, South Australia, Wine Review

Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

This is one in a series of Tawny "Ports" made by Penfold's.  It has very attractive packaging although no longer in the wood box.  Made in a Solera style, the minimum blended age is 20 years old.  The Solera currently contains vintages from 1960 to 2004.  Mostly Shiraz, Cabernet, Grenache and Mourvedre but others as well.  Iced tea in color.  The nose is a bit oxidized (in a good way) with brown sugar, toffee and crème brulee.  On the palate, this is viscous.  Lots of caramel notes.  Some heat.  There is a nice depth to it.  Long finish.  This will work well on its own or with toffee/carame

2005 Domaine Grand Veneur Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Origines, France, Rhones, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A

Every once in a while you open a bottle and its at peak.  It is a great feeling.  This was one of those times. Deep ruby in color.  The nose is great with black cherries, minerals, slight floral notes and garrique.  On the palate, this is layered and complex.  At the same time it drinks fresh and with vibrancy.  Plenty of black cherry fruit, some black licorice, and charred earth.  Long finish.  This is delicious on its own and will work great with casseroles and roasts.  It should be here for three to five years and then slowly fade while still great for another ten or so.  

2009 Epoch Estate Wines Sensibility Paderewski Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

This is a blend from Paso Robles.  It is 75% Grenache, 21% Mourvedre and 4% Syrah.  At age ten, it is still youthful but drinking great.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has black cherries, black raspberries, graphite, black pepper and spice.  On the palate, this is big and full bodied.  Slight tannins.  Lots of black raspberry and black cherry fruit.  Great mouth feel.  Long finish.  This drinks great on its own and will work with roasts or grilled foods.  It will drink well for the next ten to twelve years.  

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