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 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.  

2016 Flora Springs Trilogy, USA, California, Napa Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

This used to be a go to wine, but its been a few years, so it was a pleasure to be able to revisit this Bordeaux Blend.  A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petite Verdot.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, cherries and spice.  With air some plums come out.  On the palate, this has a lovely texture.  Lots of juicy black currants, with black raspberries.  Firm tannins.  Nice balance.  This has not yet been released and of course, will need a few years to really show what it has.  I believe the release price will be around $80 which is fair for the quality from Napa.  It will go we

2013 Burgess Mountaineer Estate Vineyards, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$119.97USD

This is a blend of 45% Syrah, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petite Verdot and it is delicious.  Drinking very well right now, it will change over time as different varietals take more of a lead.  Right now, the Syrah is dominant.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, roasted meats, blueberries and char.  On the palate, this is a big wine and full of fruit.  It also has plenty of depth and complexity.  Juicy texture.  Great balance.  Long finish.  This wine has great acidity that will work well with roasted meats.  Indian dishes should match quite well.  

2015 Finca Decero The Owl & The Dust Devil Remolinos Vineyard, Argentina, Mendoza, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

An Argentina blend that is 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Malbec, 19% Petit Verdot and 10% Tannat.  Purple/ruby in color.  This took some time to open and though not necessarily better on Day 2, it was different.  The nose is dust with cherries, plums and an herbal note (tarragon?).  On day 2, it went more to black and blue fruits.  The palate has black cherries and plums with underlying dry earth and baking spice.  On Day 2, again it picks up more plums but also blueberries.  Tannins really come out on Day 2.  This win should match well with grilled and roasted meats and other hearty foods. 

2010 Joseph Phelps Insignia Proprietary Red Wine, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A

This is made from 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot and the rest Merlot and Malbec.  Insignia is one of the First Growth wines of California.  Its great just about every vintage and has been for decades.  This one is no exception.  Inky purple.  The nose has cassis, graphite, blueberries, leather and cigar box.  On the palate, this is still young.  Medium tannins.  Great balance.  Lots of cassis and some blueberries with underlying damp forest floor.  Long finish.  Delicious.  Will work great with heartier foods and certainly with meat dishes.  The price on these is up to around $250

2011 Au Sommet Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Atlas Peak, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+

This is a blend of 97.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2.5% Petit Verdot from Heidi Barrett.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, slight smoke, bell pepper and tobacco.  On the palate, this is nice and everything is in proportion.  Not a lot of depth.  Tannins mostly resolved.  Worked well with vegetarian stuffed mushrooms.  A fine wine but its price tag on release was $250.  Granted 2011 was a difficult vintage, but that is a lot of money for this wine. 

2014 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, USA, California, Napa, St. Helena, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

Do not open this bottle now without a long 8+ hours of decanting.  This is tight as a drum.  86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot.  Bright purple in color.  The nose has cedar and cassis.  With air, blueberries, chocolate and spice emerge.  On the palate, this has an almost seamless texture.  Shut down completely at first though and showing no fruit.  With air the cassis emerges along with a wall of tannins.  It seems like all the pieces parts are there, but in a four hour tasting, it never really opened.  Based on prior history with this winery and how it did sho

2014 Lobo Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Wulff Vineyards, USA, California, Atlas Peak, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

Not to be confused with the wine of the same name from the Valley floor in Oak Knoll, this is from Atlas Peak and is mountain fruit.  This is a step up in quality and price.  Inky purple in color.  Very concentrated.  The nose has cassis, dark chocolate graphite and char.  On the palate, this is tannic.  Concentrated cassis flavors.  Fine tannins.  It opens in the glass but could use some time/decanting.  Nice balance.  Good finish.  A polished wine that should improve for the next five years.  Will work on the dinner table or on its own.  $85 retail.  

2012 Alexander Valley Vineyards Cyrus, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 3% Petite Verdot, 2% Malbec.  Purple in color, slight ruby at the rim.  The nose is dusty and warm with cassis and spice.  Soft texture.  Good acidity.  Nice cassis fruit with an underlying earthiness.  Some plums on the finish.  Nicely layered, it unwinds in the glass.  It seems open but then keeps on opening more.  Still some upside here.  

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