Dow 2020 Vale do Bomfim DOC Douro Red

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$15.00USD

Dow has a long history with Port wines, but over the last few decades they have been making great strides with still red and white wines. They have consistently produced quality still wines that I have reviewed for several vintages. Their “everyday” red and white wines from Vale do Bomfim - line priced at a mere $15 - are terrific quality for the price. This red, a blend of traditional Port grapes not made into a sweet wine, includes Touriga Nacional (40%), Tina Roriz (30%) and smaller amounts of Tinta Franca and Tinta Barroca.

Bouchaine 2022 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir

Vintage: 
2022
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$29.00USD

Bouchaine has consistently made this wine and has consistently made it well. What sets this apart from many California rosé is that it straddles the line between fruit and acidity, allowing the wine to be a part of any meal. It offers strawberry, lemon-lime, resin, light apricot and loquat. There is also a slight tartness to it, a hint of green apple that helps define this as a multi layered wine. Since the wine sees no oak at all, the freshness, the brightness and the clean fruit shines through. 1,500 cases. ORIGIN: Napa Valley, Carneros. ALCOHOL: 13.5%

MacRositie 2021 The Key Chardonnay

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$75.00USD

For years MacRostie has had much success with Chardonnay and this latest offering is no exception. Pulling fruit from three distinct vineyards – all of which produce exceptional fruit on their own - this offers a taut acidity with light notes of green melon, citrus, star fruit, honeysuckle, lemon meringue, resin, guava and floral wildflower notes – a palette of tropical fruits. The combination of these vineyard sources shows how a wine can be better than the sum of its parts, and The Key is a harmonious, lovely, enjoyable wine.

Canvasback 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$44.00USD

In just a few short years of production the Canvasback Cabernet Sauvignon has become one of the de facto wines from the Red Mountain AVA in Washington state. Having reviewed this wine from multiple vintages, there is a clear consistency to its quality. Like most Cabernet you will find the requisite black cherry, blueberry, blackberry notes, but this adds huckleberry, boysenberry into the mix along with dusty tannins and a light mocha quality. But Red Mountain fruit also offers an earthiness and minerality with richer fruit.

2021 C.L. Butaud Desert Willow Mourvèdre

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$48.00USD

C.L. Butaud started making wine in 2014 in Texas and this is an exceptional Mourvèdre from a place where you don’t see exceptional Mourvèdre. Using native yeasts and partial whole cluster fermentation, they coax out pomegranate, Rainer cherry, a campfire smoke quality, light Asian pear and some plum, a whisper of tar and there is a quiet minerality throughout the wine. The acidity and tannins are in check and support the overall drinking experience.

Paraduxx 2019 Proprietary Red Wine

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$56.00USD

The Paraduxx portfolio has been solely focused on blended wines, something they do admirably. The 2019 is comprised mainly of Cabernet Sauvignon with lighter amounts of five other grape including Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. The medley offers dusty black, cherry, blueberry, blackberry, red raspberry light cedar, and sandalwood notes with a very light green tea element and vanilla. The tannins are fairly taught, even after four years, supporting the structure of the wine, and the acidity comes into play making this an ideal companion for food.

2022 Terrazas de los Andes Reserve Chardonnay

Vintage: 
2022
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$19.99USD

Grown high in the mountains of Uco, this Chardonnay is a blend of 10 different vineyard sites. This wine offers a lot of minerality and acidity, a step away from overblown butter rich chardonnays. And that’s why it’s the ideal food companion. Lemon lime, quince, peach, light guava and a hint of wild sweet grass permeate. There is a slight oak influence (eight months on the lees) but it is minimal and allows the fruit, acidity and freshness to come through. ORIGIN: Mendoza, Argentina. ALCOHOL: 13.5%.

Cuvaison 2021 Chardonnay, Hedon

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$70.00USD

The Small Lot expressions of Cuvaison (wine typically under 200 cases and a focused identity) have become some of the most exciting and anticipated wines coming out of California. This latest Chardonnay expresses both traditional and non-traditional Chardonnay notes. Typical would be citrus, lemon lime, white peach and guava. Untypical shows kumquat, amber resin, a slight sour green apple and an even slighter butter rum hard candy.

Meet Doug Frost: Author, Master Sommelier, and Master of Wine

Doug Frost is a Kansas City author who writes and lectures about wine, beer and spirits. He passed the rigorous Master Sommelier (MS) examination and two years later became America’s eighth Master of Wine (MW). He is one of only three people in the world to have achieved both these remarkable distinctions, and he’s sincerely a nice guy. Doug is also the author of three books on wine including “ Far From Ordinary: The Spanish Wine Guide.” He is a contributor to the Oxford Companion of Wine, and writes about wine and spirits for many publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, Underground Wine Journal, Drinks International, Practical Winery & Vineyard, Wines & Vines, Wines & Spirits, Cheers Magazine, Santé Magazine, and Epicurious.com, and he is the beverage columnist for the James Beard award-winning food section of the Kansas City Star .

Is wine better or worse with a synthetic cork instead of a natural cork?

QUESTION: Is wine better or worse with a synthetic cork instead of a natural cork? I hate synthetic corks and love natural cork or Stelvin screw tops. Synthetic corks are often very difficult to pull out of the bottle. They haven’t yet convinced me that a wine can age as well with a synthetic cork as they can with natural cork or even screw top. To me, synthetic cork indicates cheap wine or a wine that is unlikely to be made in a natural way.
Corks

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