2007 Lagier Meredith Syrah, USA, California, Napa, Mt. Veeder, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A

I am a huge fan of the eponymous winery of Steve Lagier and Carole Meredith.  They make some wonderful wines on their remote property in the mountains of Napa.  And they are great values.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with black raspberries, smoked meats, slight floral note and baking spices.  On the palate, this has a wonderful texture.  Lots of black cherry and black raspberry fruit with underlying char and slight earthiness.  Nice At age 13, this seems close to peak but may yet improve.  Either way, it should have ten to twelve years before slowly fading.  This w

2016 Keplinger Vermillion, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

This is the second label for Helen Keplinger.  The grapes are sourced 69% from the Sierra Foothills and 31% from Sonoma County.  It is a blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Counoise and Cabernet Sauvignon.  This is a great value in California blends.  Purple in color.  The nose has a lot going on with black raspberries, plums, some cassis and cherries along with a bit of spice and roasted meat.  On the palate, plenty of black raspberry fruit, some sherries over a charred earth quality.  Lush texture.  Delicious and easy drinking but with a bit of complexity to it.  Medium tan

2016 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$65.00USD

What a great showing for this wine.  Yes, it is still a bit young, but really one of the best showings from this house I have seen.  Time to get a few more bottles.  It is 75% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, and 5% Cinsault.  Purple in color, ruby at the core.  The nose is great with black raspberries, baking spices, garrique and slight lavender.  Full bodied.  Luxurious texture.  Rich and full bodied.  Medium tannins.  Lots of concentrated black raspberry fruit over a bed of char and gravel.  Long finish.  Delicious.  One of those wine when each sip makes one want another.  It drinks g

2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah Griffin's Lair, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$43.00USD

This is drinking quite well now.  A great example of a cooler climate Syrah from California.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper, and slight bacon fat.  On the palate, this is very concentrated.  Boysenberry fruit with char underneath and a slightly meaty taste.  Medium to full bodied.  A wisp of tannins.  Nice acidity.  Long finish.  This is great with roasted veggies (and would be with meat or fowl) and would also work with Indian food.  No hurry, this should be good for another seen to ten years.  

1999 Arietta Merlot, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1999
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$75.00USD

On release, these were big, bold wines made, at least in part, by John Kongsgaard.  Of course, its now 21 years since vintage and one wold be hard pressed to call this anything but right bank if tasting blind.  Part of that is one doesn't expect a Napa Merlot to age this well.  It does have 10% Syrah in the blend so that may be part of it.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose is dusty with cherries, black cherries, slight cedar and some earthy funk.  On the palate, this has a great texture.  Black cherry fruit with a touch of dark chocolate and underlying earthiness.  This is complex and also vib

2012 Carlisle Syrah Papa's Block, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

This is one of the best Syrah's out of Sonoma County.  It is built for the long haul so make sure to let it rest in the cellar or give it plenty of air.  Purple in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries, black raspberries, roasted meats and slight root beer note which was interesting.  Full bodied.  On the palate, lots of black raspberry fruit starting to layer with a charred earthiness and slight bacon notes.  This still has medium tannins.  Great balance and energy.  Long finish.  This may yet improve, but is more likely about as good as it will get.  No hurry, this

2014 Shafer Relentless, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

This is a blend of 89% Syrah and 11% Petit Sirah.  It takes time for the Petite to emerge and today, the Syrah is really the show.  And a great show it is.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, char, violets, slight roasted meats and herbs.  Full bodied with a lush texture.  On the palate, juicy black raspberries with slight blueberries, and some underlying char and earthiness.  Medium tannins.  Long finish.  This drinks great on its own and went well with a chocolate cake but would work well with Indian food or roasts as well.  

2017 Hess Select North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$19.00USD

This was the year the fires hit California.  It is important to be careful due to that but there were no notes of fire tain here.  It is a well priced blend that is 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petite Sirah, 7% Malbec, 5% Merlot, and 1% Syrah.  The wine is ruby at the rim of the glass with core of purple.  Mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has cherries, cassis, char, and slight camphor.  With air, slight cedar emerges.  On the palate, this is soft and accessible.  A hint of sweetness.  Slightly drying tannins.  A moderate finish.  This is a very nice wine for immediate drinking.  It works w

2015 Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

Tablas Creek has some great levels of wine clubs which offer up wines not available outside the winery or in different formats.  This one is easily available although this particular bottle was from a 375ml bottle ($25).  It is a blend of 49% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache, 21% Syrah, and 5% Counoise.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  A lovely nose of black raspberries, raspberries, spice and anise.  On the palate, this has firm tannins but the fruit is open and drinking well.  Juicy black raspberries, raspberries, over a clean dry earthiness with just a touch of char.  This is a big wine but no

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