2013 Mira Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

A blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Syrah, 2% Petit Verdot.  This was a new winery for me.  So many choices which is great!  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, some black cherries, cedar, baking spices and dust.  On the palate, this seems to be drinking well.  Just slight tannins.  Cassis fruit.  Some depth.  Solid finish.  This probably won't get better but should continue to drink well for another five to seven years.  It will go well with grilled burgers or steaks and most medium to heavier foods.  

2012 Ridge Monte Bello, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$175.00USD

One of the great wines of the world.  This was tasted right after a huge Aussie Shiraz and it took a sip or two to re-calibrate, but once that was accomplished, this wines class shown thru.  Still a young wine, this has a long future ahead.  A blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, cedar, an herbal note (in a good way), spice and slight forest floor.  On the palate, this has a wonderful texture.  Full bodied but by no means brawny or a fruit bomb.  Nice purity of cassis fruit over some roas

2016 B Cellars Blend 27, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

This a blend of 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petite Verdot.  A Napa version of a Right Bank Bordeaux wine but this is really a pretty big wine.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, plums, slight spice and char.  On the palate, the black cherries continue.  There are firm tannins.  Low acidity.  A bit of underlying forest floor comes out with air.  Medium finish.  This makes a nice drink on its own.  It should continue to evolve and become more food friendly with age.  Another five years to peak and then another seven to ten after that.  This was around $80 on releas

2016 Cantine Briziarelli Montefalco Montefalco Rosso, Italy, Umbria, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+

This is a blend of Sangiovese 60%, Merlot 30%, Sagrantino 10%.  It was purchased in Italy and brought back by friends.  This is one of those simple wines that probably tastes better young and certainly when consumed on vacation.  That said, it was delightful in a local Italian restaurant with some simple pasta dishes.  This vintage doesn't seem available in the US, but later vintages retail for around $16.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has cherries, roasted herbs and a bit of chocolate.  Just guessing, but this likely sees no oak.  On the palate, this has nice acidity.  The cherries come t

2013 Realm Cellars The Tempest, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$125.00USD

OK, I have a confession to make.  I love Merlot.  There, I said it.  But, it has to be good.  Sometimes, because Merlot is so accessible young or so delicious, it gets short shrift when compared to Cabernet.  And don't get me started on the Sideways effect.  And yes, there is a lot of crap out there from all over the globe.  But, there is a lot of really great Merlot as well.  And, this is one.  Actually, it is 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Sauvignon.  Purple in color.  The nose shows black cherries, dark chocolate, cassis, leather, slight menthol and a bit of earth.  On the palate, the textu

2016 Hourglass HG III, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

This is a red blend that is 48% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the rest Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah.  It is a delicious wine that is drinking well but will likely improve with some cellar time.  Deep ruby in color with some purple at the core.  The nose shows black raspberries, cherries, dark chocolate, spice and cigar box.  On the palate, this is medium to full bodied.  Moderate tannins.  Lots of cherries, black cherries and also some plums over char and tobacco.  Nice finish.  This will work well with bigger foods and certainly a burger on the grill would be great.  Drin

2017 Les Portes de Bordeaux Bordeaux Rosé, France, Bordeaux, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
85
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$8.00USD

This is a Trader Joe's wine made from Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.  It is an easy drinking rose that is easy on the budget.  Deep pink/orange in color.  The nose has some watermelons and strawberries.  Light bodied.  On the palate, a bit of clean strawberries.  Drank well enough on its own and worked with a variety of garden and fruit salads.  Drink up this summer.  

2015 Outpost Immigrant True Vineyard

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$150.00USD

This is a Bordeaux blend with 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot and 23% Cabernet Franc.  It is a bit more understated than the Cabernet from the True Vineyard.  Drinking well now, this improved with a bit of air and really needs a few more years in the cellar.  But it is fantastic right now.  People who prefer Bordeaux will probably prefer this to the Cab and visa-versa.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, black cherries, slight blueberries, milk chocolate, cigar box, vanilla and spice.  Yes, there is a lot going on.  On the palate, this has a wonderful texture.  Compl

2017 Sineann Abondante, USA, Oregon, Columbia Valley, WIne Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

Sineann gets grapes in Oregon and Washington and makes quite a few different wines.  This one is a blend of grapes that did not get bottled as a single varietal.  It is always a great wine and a better value.  This vintage it contains Merlot, Cabernet and Zinfandel.  By the way, Abondante means "generous" in Italian.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, black cherries, spice, slight chocolate and forest floor.  On the palate, there are light tannins.  This is medium to full bodied.  Plenty of black cherry fruit with some cherry over a forest floor quality.  Good finish.  This is very fle

2018 14 Hands Rosé, USA, Washington, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$5.00USD

This is from a can although it appears they also sell this in bottles.  It is a blend of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Grenache.  It has a reasonably deep pink/ruby color.  The nose has cherries and raspberries.  On the palate, this is easy drinking and refreshing.  Flavors of cherries and strawberries.  No tannins.  Ready to drink now.  Worked well with salty fried food but should go with a wide variety of foods.  The trend of wine cans is catching on.  For wines that are made for now, this is a convenient, non-breakable alternative.  I hope more wineries go this route.  

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