2016 Gitana Winery Lupi Rezerva, Moldova, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$26.00USD

Lupi mean wolves.  A very nice showing for this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Saperavi that was aged for a period of 10-12 months in 225l barrels and aged for at least 2 years in oak barrels from Krasnodar (Russia).  Purple in color, garnet at the rim.  The nose has black cherries with a hint of smoked tobacco ash.  Very interesting.  With air a bit of black coffee.  Medium to full bodies.  On the palate, black raspberries, cherries, a bit of dried currants and slight earthiness.  Strong backbone of acidity.  Long finish.  A really interesting wine with depth and complexity.  Tast

2014 Palazzo Right Bank Proprietary Red Reserve, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

This is a Napa wine made in the style of a right bank Bordeaux blend.  Mostly Merlot with some Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.  Purple/ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose is nice with cherries, black cherries, slight chocolate, cigar box and slight earthy funk.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this has light tannins.  Flavors of black cherries, some spice with underlying earthiness.  Good balance.  Delicious.  Nice finish.  This is drinking well now but may still get better as it matures.  Drink over the next ten to twelve years.  This drinks well on its own and will work

2005 Château La Fleur de Gay, France, Bordeaux, Pomerol, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$115.00USD

2005 was an excellent vintage, but, especially the right bank Merlot based wines, is now starting to really drink well.  100% Merlot.  Purple in color with ruby swirls, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is lovely with black cherries, cassis, chocolate and spice.  Light tannins.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, black cherries with underlying funk.  Good finish.  This seems to be about at peak but should drink well for another five to seven years.  It drinks well on its own but will work better at the dinner table with perhaps roasted fowl.  

2016 Sauska Villány Cuvée 13, Hungary, Villany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$27.00USD

All of Sauska's blends are named after prime numbers as a testament to their uniqueness.  The lower the number, the better the wine.  This one is a blend of 45% Cabernet Franc, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 21% Merlot.  It is aged 4 months in used French oak and two months is bottle prior to release.  Ruby in color with purple swirls, mostly clear and bright.  The nose has cherries, tobacco, plums and black pepper.  14% ABV.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, the cherries come thru along with the black pepper and slight tobacco underneath.  Nice balance.  Smooth and easy drinking.  Mild tannins.

2017 Realm Cellars The Bard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$130.00USD

I love Realm wines and this might be my favorite.  A blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Merlot.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, black cherries, slight chocolate and tobacco with some cedar.  This is a very accessible vintage for this wine.  Full bodied.  On the palate, cassis and black cherries, with some forest floor notes.  Firm tannins.  Nice balance.  Long finish.  This drinks very Bordeaux-like for a Napa Cab.  It will still mature and like improve over the next ten to fifteen years and drink well for another ten to fifteen after that.  A nice wine

2018 Château Jalousie Beaulieu, France, Bordeaux, Supérieur, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$10.00USD

This is an inexpensive 100% Merlot.  In good vintages, these are great places to look for values and nice wines that are accessible.  And this one, hits all the marks.  Deep ruby in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has raspberries, plums and slight spice.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, the raspberries continue along with some black cherries.  Moderate finish.  This is a tasty, fruit forward style of Merlot.  It improves with a bit of air.  Drinks fine on its own but will work better with some food.  Roasted veggies or fowl would be a nice match.  Drink over the next three to five

2011 Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

This is from grapes that are grown 63% IN Napa and 37% in Sonoma.  It also contains 7% Cabernet Sauvignon.  This was a difficult vintage, yet this is a nice wine.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries and coffee.  Also a hint of clove.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, black cherries and cherries with some underlying spice.  A slight green note on the finish.  Nice acidity.  The fruit is not under ripe but just barely.  This drinks well but will work better with food.  Fried chicken might be nice.  Drink over the next few years. 

2017 Celler Vall Llach Priorat Embruix, Spain, Priorat, Wine review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$22.00USD

Another top producer in Priorat, this is their entry level red.  It is a blend of  27% Garnacha, 26% Merlot, 21% Syrah, 18% Cariñena, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon.  Inky purple in color, shimmering bright and opaque.  The nose has dust, black cherries, plums and coffee.  On the palate, spicy black cherry fruit.  Medium tannins.  The alcohol is noticeable but not obtrusive.  Long finish.  This is delicious and in need of some cellar time.  Perhaps another three to five years.  This drinks great on its own but will need big food right now.  Perhaps after a few years it calms down.  This is the kind

2018 Radikon RS, Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
50
Grade: 
F-
Current Price: 
$36.00USD

So, are you feeling lucky?  That phrase goes thru my head every time I think about buying a natural wine.  But, Radikon is one of the top producers and his Merlots have been amazing.  This one is 75% Merlot and 25% Pignolo aged on its skins for 15 day and in oak for 3 years without much intervention.  I just hope the kitchen sink enjoyed it as i poured it down the drain!  Consumed over three days, just to punish myself.  Purple in color, opaque and flat.  The nose was a cross been a failed high school science experiment and the back room of a butcher shop.  The palate was much more chemical

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

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$120.00USD

Much better and cleaner than another bottle tried a couple years ago.  Both were bought on release at the same time.  A right bank wine from the great 2005 vintage.  The vineyard is 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc (unsure about the specific vintage in bottle).  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is nice with cherries, black cherries, cedar, chocolate, slight tobacco and just a bit of smoke.  Consumed over two days, this was better/more open on day 2.  Full bodied.  Lush texture but with good acidity.  Lots of black cherry fruit over smoke with some chocolate.  Nice finish.  This s

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