2011 Kapcsándy Family Winery Rapszodia, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$200.00USD

Kapcsandy makes some of the best wines in Napa (and the world).  This one is a bit less well known.  It is a blend of 62% Cabernet Franc and 38% Merlot (so think the Cheval Blanc of Napa).  2011 was a difficult vintage but this wine is outstanding if perhaps not as good as the following vintages.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, cigar tobacco and just a hint of bell pepper.  On the palate, this has a wonderful texture.  It is a bit more demur than typical Kapcsandy bottles, but it is drinking quite well.  Black cherry fruit with an underlying earthy/tobacco quality.  Light ta

2008 Jonata Winery El Desafio de Jonata, USA, California, Santa Ynez Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$125.00USD

A gorgeous California Cab as good as just about anything grown in the northern part of the state.  84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc and the rest Merlot.  This vintage has much less Cabernet Sauvignon than typical.  It is in a great spot right now.  Young but it has shed its baby fat and is drinking quite well.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, pencil lead, slight tobacco, a bit of chocolate and some cherry notes.  On the palate, this has light tannins.  Plenty of cassis and cherry fruit with some earthy tobacco notes underneath.  Complex.  Good balance.  Lon

2016 Flora Springs Merlot, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$29.99USD

Despite what you may think, Sideways didn't kill the California Merlot market as much as it made Pinot Noir stylish.  There are still some fine Merlots being made.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has a nice chocolate covered cherry quality to it.  Some spice as well.  On the palate, this takes about thirty minutes of air to open and then drinks very well.  It is more expressive (right now) on the palate with milk chocolate covered cherries and a nice vanilla streak.  Not candied as much as liqueur notes.  Good balance.  Nice finish.  This drinks very well on its own and would b

2016 Flora Springs Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

Looking for an outstanding Napa Cabernet for $50?  This one fits just fine.  This is drinking just great right now but will easily last a decade.  84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 3% Malbec,1% Petit Verdot.  Purple in color.  The nose is great with cassis, a bit of pencil lead, coffee and a slight dusty note.  On the palate, this has medium tannins.  Great balance.  Plenty of cassis fruit over a dry earthy note.  Good finish.  This will go well with a variety of heavier dishes from BBQ to roasts.  

2015 Charles Smith Merlot The Velvet Devil

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
85
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$15.00USD

Purple in color.  The nose is ok with cherries and dust.  On the palate, this is easy drinking.  Cherries with some underling spice.  Nice texture.  Nothing wrong but nothing exciting either except the price.  This is around $15 which is a nice price for a party.  

2005 Château La Croix St. Georges, France, Pomerol, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$120.00USD

Nice to check in on this.  That said, this bottle, purchased from retail on release had a significant amount of brett on it.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has some band-aid, slight barnyard, cassis, slight blueberries, and cedar.  On the palate, this was decanted and much but not all of the brett blew off.  It shows nice fruit with tight layers of barnyard and earth.  Medium tannins.  Long finish.  A cleaner bottle can certainly go longer, but given how this showed, it might be better to open a bottle and see how it is doing.  Especially if you have more than one.  It needs b

2003 Château Pavie, France, Bordeaux, Saint Emilion, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2003
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$250.00USD

Gorgeous wine.  This was controversial on release for being too big and bold, but I think it would be less so today.  Maybe not.  It is still a ripe wine but not overblown or raisiny, etc.  Just a gorgeous expression of Merlot.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is initially tight but opens quickly showing dusty cherries, slight mocha ad roasted herbs.  On the palate, black cherries layered with dry earth and just a hint of cocoa powder.  Great plush yet juicy texture.  This is deep with tight layering that unwind in the glass.  Long finish.  It probably won't get better but will

2007 Meerlust Rubicon, South Africa, Stellenbosch, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

This is a Cab/Merlot/Cab Franc blend from South Africa.  Purple, ruby at the rim.  The nose is interesting.  Red fruits with some bell pepper notes.  A bit of tobacco as well.  On the palate, this seems a bit better.  Cherries and some cassis.  Underlying earthiness.  Good finish.  Drinks like a nice Bordeaux with a bit of age on it.  The bell pepper on the nose will be welcome to some and a problem for others.  Seems to be at peak right now.  Drink sooner than later.  

2007 Kapcsándy Family Winery Roberta's Reserve State Lane Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
99
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$300.00USD

Perhaps the best Merlot made in America.  This is drinking great right now, at or near peak.  Purple in color, thin ruby line at the rim.  The nose is great with coffee, cherries, black cherries, and spice.  On the palate, this has a wonderful texture.  Rich and luxurious.  Slight tannins.  Black cherry fruit.  Long finish.  This is deep and voluptuous with lots of complexity.  This should be here for a while (ten years?) and still last another decade after that.  

2012 Château Haut-Brion, France, Bordeaux, Pessac-Leognan, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$450.00USD

Its hard to believe that a First Growth can exceed expectations, but this one did.  From a good not great vintage, this wine was tremendous.  Purple/ruby in color.  The nose is great with cherries, chocolate, and slight tobacco.  A soft texture that makes the wine very accessible.  Some silky tannins.  This is delicious.  Young but open.  Cherries and milk chocolate on the palate.  This will work with heavier foods.  This should get better over the next couple of decades, but it is great right now.  

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