2015 Venge Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Family Reserve, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$150.00USD

So, Nils Venge has been making great wine in Napa for decades.  This is a family project and his son Kurt makes the wine.  IIRC, this is my first time trying this wine and it was amazing.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has cassis, cedar, smoke and the slightest graphite note.  On the palate, this is one of those wine with so much energy it seems every sip is a bit different than the last.  Of course, it is young and that will probably change as it settles down.  Firm tannins at the moments.  Juicy cassis fruit with some underlying char.  Clean with great balance.  Long finish.  This would

1978 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1978
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

This was a Six Liter Methuselah bottle of wine.  The cork came out in one piece with the use of a Durand.  It was soaked up the sides but did not leak.  The bottle was sampled right away and then over the next few hours.  Purple/ruby in color.  It looked to be about ten or fifteen years old (not 41).  The nose was initially muted, but with air this had some cassis and black cherries, some dried fruit, dust, cedar and a slight funk.  With air, it got younger for the first hour and then plateaued.  On the palate, this still has a nice freshness to it.  There is some age showing but not a whol

2011 Carter Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon The O.G. Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, WIne Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

Purple in color.  The nose has nice cassis, a bit of blueberries, spice and cocoa dust.  On the palate, this is very good but lacks intensity.  Lots of cassis fruit along with some chocolate.  Good finish.  This won't get any better but should be good for another ten years.  Will work with medium and heavier foods.  

2012 Realm Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A

Pop and pour, like many 2012's this seems a bit shut down right now.  Luckily, there was time to wait.  After about an hour it opened nicely.  inky purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, cassis, spice, dried cherries and a slight tobacco note.  On the palate, this is drinking quite well.  Black cherries and spice.  Nice texture.  Sill young, it unwinds in the glass.  Deep and tightly complex.  Good finish.  This is a robust wine that needs about five years of good cellaring.  It has a couple of decades left.  Will work with bigger foods but works great on its own right now.  

2013 Maybach Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Materium, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
100
Grade: 
A+

Wow.  This wine should make old bones, but it is so good now, it is not likely to.  Stunning wine that seemingly gets better and better.  This bottle was consumed over 4 hours and the last glass was the best.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has cassis, graphite, cedar, blueberries and spice.  On the palate, this has a seamless texture.  Delicious.  Deep and tightly layered; it explodes in the glass.  Tons of cassis and blue berries layered with minerality and spice.  Medium tannins.  Long finish.  It does need bigger or spicier food, but it is oh so good.  

1997 Opus One, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1997
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, tobacco, it is slightly dusty and cedar.  On the palate, this still has some tannins left and plenty of fruit but is fully mature.  Cassis with some black olives.  This seems like a good bottle.  There is a nice complexity to it.  Very smooth.  Very food friendly.  Blind, i think most people would guess mature Bordeaux.  Of course, with a wine of this pedigree, there is always a lot of anticipation, but I think this is probably the wine producers were trying to  make back in 1997.  It succeeds at that if a very different wine from most 1997's.  

2009 Rivers-Marie Cabernet Sauvignon Corona Vineyard

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A

Wow.  This was excellent.  This is why you let the better California Cabernet's age.  Sure, they are delicious young.  Juicy and full of fruit and energy.  But at age 9, this has all of that still but also starting to show some development.  This wine could easily go another two decades though it will undoubtedly lose fruit and sunshine.  For those lucky enough to have a bunch, it will be fun to watch this.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, cedar, slight dust and saddle leather.  With air, some black cherries come out.  On the palate, this took about an hour or two to really start to

2015 Ghost Block Zinfandel Pelissa Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

This is a big, forward style Zinfandel but stays just shy of being over the top for that style.  Purple in color.  The nose has blueberry pie, slight fruitcake spice and black pepper.  With air roasted herbs come out with a bit of bramble.  On the palate, this is delicious with black raspberries, blueberries and cherries.  Deep and complex.  Long finish.  Would go well with bold flavored food especially cooked over a grill.  

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