2014 Von Strasser Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Vineyard Diamond Mountain, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

A really nice showing for this wine and above my high expectations.  It is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Malbec, and 5% Petit Verdot.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, cedar, plums, graphite and char.  On the palate, this is full bodied with medium tannins.  Lots of cassis fruit intertwined with char and oak.  Good length on the finish.  This is still on the young side of mature but drinks like a classic Napa Cabernet.  That is great fruit with some oak and plenty of depth.  This should continue to mature for another seve to ten years and be good for ten to

2013 Behrens Family Winery The Collector, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

My first time trying this wine.  Very nice.  A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Petite Sirah and the rest Merlot and Petit Verdot.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has black cherries, black raspberries, char and spice.  On the palate, the black cherries dominate.  There is some green bell pepper (in a good way) that is very traditional.  Some underlying roasted meats.  This already has a tight complexity that unwinds in the glass.  Nice finish.  This probably needs another five to seven to peak and should be good for ten to twelve more after that.  it is food friendly and wi

2014 Raymond Vineyard & Cellar Merlot Reserve Selection, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$23.00USD

This is a nice value in inexpensive Merlot.  It is a blend of 88% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Malbec.  Medium ruby in color.  The nose has plums, cherries and spice.  On the palate, this is light to medium bodied.  Light cherry fruit.  Easy drinking.  Nice finish.  This is made for immediate drinking.  It drinks well on its own and would be great with burgers or grilled chicken.  Drink over the next couple of years.  

2017 Flora Springs Trilogy, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$85.00USD

This is always one of the great wines out of Napa.  The blend is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Petit Verdot, and 3% Malbec. Inky purple in color.  The nose is very nice with cassis and coffee.  On the palate, this has medium tannins.  Black cherries, cassis and some char.  It is delicious.  This was consumed over three nights and was best on night three though excellent on all three.  This still needs a few more years until peak and then should be good for another ten to twelve at least.  The score certainly has a point or two more of upside.  There is a depth and complexity to it that really

2005 Château La Clare, France, Bordeaux, Haut Medoc, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

Labelled as Cru Bourgeois, half of this wine's production is typically kosher although this bottle was not so marked.   A blend of 45% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot.  Purple in color.  The nose has plenty of barnyard with some cherries.  On the palate, this is soft, but has a nice complexity.  Plums and cherries.  Light tannins.  Moderate finish.  This probably won't get better but should maintain this level for another ten to twelve years.  It will go well with stews and casseroles.  

2003 Château Montrose, France, Bordeaux, St. Estephe, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2003
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$210.00USD

Although 2003 was not a classic vintage in Bordeaux (it was extremely hot), this is a classic styled Montrose at age 17.  2003 Château Montrose is a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.   Purple in color.  Opaque and bright.  The nose has some barnyard along with cassis, and a slight char.  What a great texture.  Luxurious, almost gelatinous.  Lots of cassis fruit over some char and earth.  Complex layers.  Long finish.  This seems to be at or close to peak but should be here for at least a decade.  Drinking very well on its own and will work w

2015 Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

  This is a blend of 87.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec and 1.5% Petit Verdot.  It is a big wine that seems like it will still get better with cellaring.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has cassis, dust, and an interesting citrus quality.  On the palate, this is very concentrated.  Notes of cassis, some dark chocolate and orange peel (?) come thru.  It is deep with firm tannins that will need time to open.  Long finish.  This needs another five to ten years of cellaring and should be good for ten to twelve after that.  Right now, it should be given an eight h

2017 Exitus Bourbon Barrel Aged Red Wine, USA, California

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

This is another of the bourbon barrel aged wines.  While some wine nerds may scoff or even cringe at this trend, many consumers are buying and enjoying.  This comes in attractive packaging with a clear bottle and an "old timey" label.  It is a big wine that clocks in at 15.9% abv.  After tasting the bottle, I served it to a group of friends and it proved popular.  Is is a blend of Zinfandel, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.   Deep ruby in color.  The nose is sweet with caramel and also black raspberries.  On the palate, this has sweet black cherry fruit.  Firm tannins that are slightly

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

2003 Château Branaire-Ducru, France, Bordeaux, St. Julian, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2003
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$74.00USD

This took about an hour to open and then was drinking great.  It is a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 4.5% Petit Verdot and 3.5% Cabernet Franc.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, cigar box and cherries.  On the palate, this is full bodied.  Ripe fruit.  Lighter tannins.  Flavors of Cherries with some cassis, chocolate and clean(er) barnyard.  Good finish.  This is about at peak now but should be here for at least another five to seven years.  It will go well with roasted meats or fowl. 

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