Cuvaison 2020 Chardonnay Kite Tail

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

This wine has always been one of the outstanding performers in the Cuvaison portfolio and year after year is a wine that never ceases to impress. It is also one of those Chardonnays that makes you rethink Chardonnay because it is so beautifully balanced, so definitely handled, that it surpasses what most of us know about Chardonnay. Yes you’ll find light lemon-lime, green apple, kiwi, guava notes, but also viscosity and minerality. It also possesses a slight resin and stone fruit quality and maturity of fruit. That these vines are just 20 years old suggests there are great vintages ahead.

2021 Bouchaine Vineyards Vin Gris of Pinot Noir

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
95
Grade: 
Current Price: 
$29.00USD

A terrific acidity leads into subtle yet definable and lovely flavors of strawberry, guava, honeydew, slight lemon-lime, and a hint of papaya. Beautifully balanced, this is a wonderful expression of how fruit can transcend as a mere single grape – in this case pinot noir - and express itself in a myriad number of ways. The wine was mainly whole cluster pressed with just 15% saignée method, which involves the removal of a proportion of juice from a tank of crushed red grapes.

2018 Etude Pinot Noir Grace Benoist Ranch, USA, California, Carneros, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$47.00USD

This is a really nice Pinot Noir from Carneros. Ruby in color, clear and bright. The nose is nice. Earthy with cherries and slight sandalwood. Medium bodied. Light tannins. Good acidity. On the palate, cherries with slight sour cherries over char and earthiness. Long finish with a touch of menthol. Some depth and complexity that will increase with cellar time. This drinks well now and should continue to for the next ten to twelve years. Very nice on it own, this will work well with roasted duck or chicken.

2019 The Vice Cabernet Sauvignon Los Carneros "The Ram", USA, California, Napa, Carneros, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$69.00USD

This was bottled and released to celebrate the Los Angeles Rams Super Bowl appearance (and victory).  Los Carneros is Spanish for The Ram.  This is a cooler climate than much of Napa and while the area is not know for Cabernet, this one is a very nice example of a cooler climate Cab.  Unfiltered and unfined.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  Ruby at the rim.  The nose is dusty with black cherries, cassis, slight rhubarb and sandalwood.  Medium to full  bodied.  Lovely sinewy texture.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, nice black cherries, plums with a chalky/chocolate note.  Long finish. 

2019 Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay Reserve, USA, California, Napa, Carneros, Wine Rev iew

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

This is a big, California Chardonnay in the best sense.  It is a blend of four different vineyards of Chardonnay.  Silvery gold in color, clear and bright.  The nose is big and enticing with Lemons, vanilla and nutmeg.  Full bodied with a creamy texture.  Good acidity.  Slightly oily.  On the palate, this has lemons, slight lemon peel and an interesting note of mint on the finish.  It is deep with tight complexity that unwinds in the glass.  A very long finish.  This may improve over the next year or two but either way should make great drinking for the next ten years.  It drinks great on i

2019 Prisoner Wine Company Chardonnay, USA, California, Carneros, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

This is Chardonnay with some Roussanne, and Gewürztraminer added from California.  Imagine if the Prisoner Wine Company made a Chard, this is just what you would expect.  And they did and it is.  Light yellow gold in color, clear and bright.  The nose has vanilla, spice, baked apples and slight caramel.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this has plenty of apples with some vanilla and spice.  This is a big and bold (as opposed to crisp and clean) style of Chardonnay and should be very popular among those who like that style (and there are many).  Expect to see this popping up a lot at parties th

2018 Shafer Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch, USA, California, Carneros, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$46.00USD

This is a classic California Chard in style and pedigree.  Golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose has butter, spice, lemons and slight white flowers.  Full bodied.  Rich, full bodied texture.  On the palate, this is round and full of fruit and structure.  Lemons, slight smoke and spice.  A nice backbone of acidity counters the oak nicely.  Long finish.  This should continue to integrate over the next ten years with the oak taking a step back.  Whether to wait or not really depends on how you like your Chardonnay.  This drinks well on its own and will work well with sea food but also p

2017 Keplinger Hangman's, USA, California, Carneros, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$69.00USD

Very impressive Syrah with about 5% Viognier added.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, blueberries, white pepper, black olive and roasted meat.  Full bodied.  On the palate, the black raspberries and blueberries are intense but concentrated.  A bit of pepper and some underlying char and meatiness.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  This will still get a bit better but is drinking well now.  Maybe another five years of cellaring and drink for fifteen to twenty after that.  This drinks well on its own and will work well with fattier meat dishes and stews.  

2014 Mahoney Vineyards Pinot Noir Las Brisas Vineyard, USA, California, Carneros, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
78
Grade: 
C+
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

Purple/ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose is dusty with some cedar and alcohol.  Just a hint of cherries.  On the palate, just a touch of cherry cough drops.  Firm tannins.  Shorter finish.  Certainly drinkable if at a wedding but this seems past prime.  Drink now.  Better on its own than with food.  

2013 Apsara Cellars Syrah Las Madres Vineyard, USA, California, Carneros, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

This is a lovely cooler climate Syrah made in a more elegant, lower alcohol style.  Purple in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has boysenberries, white pepper and slight char.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, there is nice black raspberry fruit with mild tannins.  Some underlying earthiness and char.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  This seemed to be about at peak but shoudl drink well for another five to seven years.  It works better with food.  This will work well with pastrami or other "deli" meats.  

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