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

2016 Bodegas Juan Gil, Spain, Jumilla, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$15.00USD

This is made from Monastrell (Mourvedre).  It was great to get a chance to revisit as it had probably been ten years since last tried.  It is a tremendous value in wine.  Deep ruby/purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, dust, blueberries and vanilla.  On the palate, this is slightly sweet/rip with black raspberries, slight blueberries and char.  This is also delicious.  It drinks great on its own and will work with ribs or burgers.  I suspect it ages for five to seven years, but have never tried that as it drinks well young.  A great option on restaurant lists as well.  

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

2017 Bodegas El Nido Jumilla Clio, Spain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$39.00USD

This is a big young wine.  It is delicious, but will need some time.  it is a blend of 70% Monastrell (Mourvedre) and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.  Purple in color.  The nose is big.  The nose has black raspberries, smoke, black cherries, and dark chocolate.  With air, some baking spices come out.  On the palate, this is ripe, slightly sweet with black raspberries and plums.  A bit of spice.  Firm tannins.  Long finish.  This is accessible now but will improve as the tannins and fruit integrate.  In the meanwhile, it is delicious on its own.  With age it will work well with roasts and casseroles

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.  

2015 Domaine de la Mordorée Lirac Cuvée de la Reine des Bois, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$35.00USD

This is always one of the better values in Rhone wines.  They make two cuvees, this being the better of the two.  This is a blend of  40% Syrah, 30% Grenache and 30% Mourvèdre.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is great with black raspberries, black cherries, plums, spice and smoked herbs.  On the palate, this is medium bodied.  Complex.  The fruits carry thru.  Light tannins.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  This drinks well on its own but also works well with a wide variety of foods.  Works with casseroles, pizza or grilled foods.  It will continue to mature for a couple more year

NV J. Bookwalter Notebook 13NV Red Blend, USA, Washington, Columbia Valley

Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+

This is a multi-vintage, multi grape cuvee.  It is released on a regular basis, this being the 13th iteration.  It is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah, 12% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot, and 1% Mourvedre.  This is really quite good and an excellent value.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose is dusty and warm with nice black cherry fruit.  On the palate, the black cherries come thru along with some sour cherries.  Medium tannins.  Moderate finish.  This rinks quite easily and would be a nice choice for parties.  It will go with all but the lightest of foods.  Drink over the next couple of y

2012 Halcon Vineyards Esquisto, USA, California, Mendocino, Yorkville Highlands, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$27.00USD

This is a blend of 65% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre and 5% Syrah.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, black raspberries and plums along with some spice and earthy funk.  On the palate, this is complex.  Layers of black cherries and black raspberries with damp earthiness.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  This is drinking very well right now.  It should be at this level for another five to ten years.  It goes well with roasts and casseroles.  

2015 Keplinger Vermillion, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

This is the "second label" of star winemaker Helen Keplinger's home winery.  It is made from 31% Sonoma Grapes and 69% Sierra Foothills Grapes.  A blend of 55% Grenache, 22% Mourvedre, 18% Syrah, and 5% Petite Sirah.  A delicious wine.  Purple in color with ruby at the rim.  The nose has black cherries, black raspberries, spice, gravel and slight plums and earth.  On the palate, this is full bodied but very lively with lots of energy.  Black raspberries dominate at the moment but the black cherries are also present.  There is also a layer of gravel and scorched earth that is a lovely counte

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