2017 Tasting Notes

2007 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape

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2007 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape


Location:  Southern Rhone, France 


Blend:  30% Mourvedre, 30% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise, 15% Other  


The wine had a deep dark inky purple color with hues of garnet.  The bouquet was extremely expressive with boysenberry, black currants, truffles, licorice, herbs, and allspice.  This wine was full bodied with integrated tannins and a wonderful level of acidity that brought forth fresh vibrant red and black fruits, fig, currants, coffee, smoked herbs, and soft spices.  The wine is layered with complex flavors that brilliantly harmonize and pleased the palate.  This wine is drinking quite youthful and could easily be cellared for another decade.  Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  March 2017

2014 Chateau Margene Beau Melange

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2014 Chateau Margene Beau Melange


Location:  Paso Robles, California 


Blend:  50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc  


This Bordeaux style blend was rich with aromas of black cherries, blueberries, vanilla, and soft minerals.  The wine was full bodied with chewy tannins that coated the palate with lush velvety blueberries, cherries, currents, vanilla, spices, and earthy minerals.  This beautifully dark inky wine was complex with layers of fruit and spice that blended wonderfully with a touch of minerality.  This wine is ripe with fresh dark fruits, and should easily last another 10 to 15 years.   Highly Recommended! 


Tasted:  March 2017

2013 Alto Moncayo Garnacha

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2013 Alto Moncayo Garnacha


Location:  Spain 


Blend:  100% Grenache  


This dark inky purple beauty had an exotic bouquet displaying hints of juicy blackberries, ripe boysenberries, black cherries, hickory smoke, vanilla, and toasted oak.  The wine was full bodied with chewy tannins that gave way to a luxuriously intense palate showing notes of black cherries, cassis fruit, blackberries, licorice, cola, balsamic, dusty minerals, and hickory smoke.  This is a complex wine that brilliantly harmonizes all its different layers, and showcases the concentrated dark fruits.  This wine is absolutely fantastic and is drinking wonderfully right now; however, could easily be cellared another decade.  Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  March 2017

1994 Paul Jaboulet Aîné "La Chapelle" Hermitage

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1994 Paul Jaboulet Aîné "La Chapelle" Hermitage


Location:  Northern Rhone, France 


Blend: 100% Syrah  


This wine is named after the chapel of Saint-Christophe that sits on the hill above Tain and overlooks the 40 to 60 year old terraced vines.  The wine had a dark ruby color and displayed a beautiful bouquet of blackcurrants, blackberries, vanilla, coffee, leather, and spice.  The wine was medium ++ in body with rich balanced flavors of blackberries, currants, prune, truffles, forest floor, and mocha.  The wine is absolutely drinking perfect right now and is in its plateau of maturity.  Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  May 2017

1994 Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou

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1994 Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou


Classification:  Second Growth in 1855 


Location:  Bordeaux, France 


Blend:  Average of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot  


We decanted this bottle of wine to find it had a beautiful bouquet with hints of cassis fruit, cherries, dusty earth, and soft spice.  The color was a dark purple with garnet hues, and just a hint of bricking towards the edge of the glass.  The wine was medium + in body with velvety smooth tannins that gave way to a luxurious long finish coating the palate with ripe fruits, dried cherries, cassis, licorice, sweet vanilla, dusty earth, and a touch of spice.  This perfectly aged Bordeaux did not disappoint, as it had complex layers that harmonized and balanced wonderfully together.  This wine is nearing the end of its plateau of maturity and should be consumed over the next 5 years.  Recommended!


Tasted:  May 2017


1998 Grgich Hills Cabernet Sauvignon

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1998 Grgich Hills Cabernet Sauvignon  


Location:  Napa Valley, California 


Blend:  90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot  


We decanted this bottle of wine expecting the worst, as this vintage for Napa Cabernet Sauvignon is supposedly past its peak.  We found ourselves pleasantly surprised as the wine was showing outstanding, and had a beautiful garnet color with just a tinge of bricking at the edge of the glass.  The bouquet was balanced with aromas of crushed cherries, currants, plum, anise, dusty earth, and soft oak.  The wine was medium + in body with silky smooth tannins that gave way to a palate coated in cherries, currants, herbs, dusty earth, caramel, and soft spices.  The wine was concentrated with complex layers that unfolded harmoniously on the palate.   This wine is holding on and still displaying some youthful characteristics; however, is nearing the end of its plateau of maturity and should be drunk now!  Recommended!  


Tasted:  May 2017


2013 Adobe Road Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Georges III A Blk

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2013 Adobe Road Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Georges III A Blk


Location:  Petaluma, California 


Blend:  100% Cabernet Sauvignon  


This boutique winery was established by the famous sportscar driver Kevin Buckler and his wife, due to their passion of fine wine.  They are making some wonderful handcrafted award winning wines that represent the very best of Sonoma and Napa.  The wine in this bottle comes from the renowned Andy Beckstoffer’s Georges III Vineyard in Rutherford.  The wine was brilliantly focused with a lush bouquet giving off notes of concentrated blackberries, cassis fruit, black licorice, cherries, anise, and soft oak.  The wine is full bodied with gorgeously structured tannins that give way to hints of blackberry, currents, exotic spice, soft minerals, and a touch of toasted oak.  This is an intense concentrated wine that is complex, yet elegantly balanced.  This wine has the ability to be cellared for another two decades; however, is extremely approachable right now.  Extremely Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  June 2017

2013 Jean Edwards Cellars Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

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2013 Jean Edwards Cellars Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon


Located:  Napa Valley, California 


Blend:  95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec  


We decanted this wine to find it had an expressive bouquet of lush black currants, black cherries, cassis fruit, dusty minerals, herbs, vanilla, and soft oak.  This dark garnet beauty had rounded tannins that coated the palate with hints of black cherries, cassis fruit, currants, sage, vanilla, and dusty earth.  This is truly a special wine with rich complex layers of dark fruits that harmonize beautifully with the dusty earth and sweet oak nuances.  The wine is extremely approachable right now; however, will only get better for those that have the patience to cellar it.  I’m thinking of revisiting this in 2023, but expect it will still be quite youthful.  Extremely Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  June 2017

1990 Opus One

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1990 Opus One


Location:  Napa Valley, California 


Blend:  87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot   


This is absolutely a stunning example of a perfectly aged Napa cabernet sauvignon blend.  The wine had a dark purple color with hues of ruby red and a touch of bricking at the edge of the glass.  We decanted this magnum (1.5L) to find it had an outstanding bouquet of ripe currants, cassis fruit, berries, vanilla, graphite, soft spice, and oak.  The wine was medium ++ in body with velvety smooth tannins, and a luxuriously elegant palate painted with berry fruit, currants, anise spice, vanilla, cassis liquor, dusty earth, and soft oak.  This wine is complex, sophisticated, elegant, and has a boisterous layer of fruit and earth that are balanced and harmonize wonderfully together.  The wine is in its plateau of maturity and drinking perfectly right now.  Highly Recommended!    


Tasted:  June 2017

2011 Opus One

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2011 Opus One


Location:  Napa Valley, California 


Blend:  71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 1% Malbec   


This beautiful wine was tasted alongside the 1990 vintage, and although the two vintages are about 21 years apart they were both indistinguishably Opus One.  Boasting from my glass were aromas of black cherries, plum, currants, chocolate, herbs, pepper, and toasted oak.  The wine is full bodied with silky tannins and a long lingering finish displaying hints of black & red berries, cassis fruit, licorice, cocoa, black tea, and smoky oak.  The wine is impressive yet lacks weight in the center, from what I have grown to expect from an Opus One.  Nice complexities, and elegantly sophisticated with nice balance.    


Tasted:  June 2017

2008 Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

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2008 Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon


Location:  Napa Valley, California


Blend:  Cabernet Sauvignon  


This dark purple wine had an expressive bouquet with aromas of blackberries, crème de cassis, chocolate, exotic spices, and soft dusty earth.  The wine is medium ++ in body with velvety tannins that lead to a long finish coating the palate with blueberries, blackberries, cassis liquor, cedar, dusty earth, and sweet spices.  The wine is concentrated with complex layers of fruit and earth that blend and balance beautifully together.  This wine is now in its plateau of maturity and should continue to age gracefully for another 6 to 8 years.  Recommended!  


Tasted:  June 2017

2013 Shafer "One Point Five" Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon

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2013 Shafer "One Point Five" Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon


Location:  Napa Valley, California 


Blend:  99% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Petit Verdot  


This dark purple beauty had a floral bouquet with aromas of blackberries, black currants, crushed minerals, pepper, and soft oak.  The wine was full bodied with chewy tannins that were well rounded.  The wine coated the palate with blueberries, black raspberries, currants, river rocks, herbs, and spice.  The wine is complex with a tight core of concentrated fruits that harmonize and give balance to the earthiness of this wine.  The wine is wonderfully crafted but need more time in the cellar.  This wine should be hitting its stride in about another 3 to 5 years and should continue to evolve nicely for another decade or so.  Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  June 2017

1983 Chateau Margaux

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1983 Chateau Margaux


Classification:  First Growth in 1855 


Location:  Bordeaux, France 


Blend:  75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot & Cabernet Franc  


We were out to dinner with Mark Lyon (renowned winemaker) and he indulged us with this magnificent bottle of wine from his personal cellar.  The wine had a dark ruby color with just a hint of bricking at the edge of the glass.  On first approach the bouquet was simply stunning with aromas of violets, crushed cassis fruit, red berries, currants, cherries, toasted cedar, forest floor, black tea, and dusty earth.  The wine was rich with tannins that melted away and left you with a long powerful yet elegant finish displaying concentrated hint of raspberries, cassis, cherry, crushed wild berries, smoke, wet earth, vanilla, and soft powdered minerals. This silky complex wine exudes remarkable balance and harmony.  Truly a wonderful bottle of wine that reaches for perfection on the palate, and complimented our culinary experience effortlessly to a level of outstand.  Extremely Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  July 2017

2004 Patz & Hall "Hyde Vineyard" Carneros Pinot Noir

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2004 Patz & Hall "Hyde Vineyard" Carneros Pinot Noir


Location:  Rutherford, Napa Valley, California 


Blend:  100% Pinot Noir  


I pulled the cork and immediately indulged, finding a lush bouquet of black cherry, raspberry, cranberry, herbs, baking spices, and soft oak.  The wine was medium + in body with rounded tannins that gave way to hints of blueberry, raspberry, plum, cherry, minerals, baking spices, herbs, and soft cedar.  The wine is layered with complex flavors that are balanced and blend harmoniously together in an effortless and seamless elegance.  Deeply concentrated with finesse and a polished palate that is luxurious and long lasting.  This wine is still quite youthful and is in no immediate danger of going into decline anytime soon; however, it is definitely in its plateau of maturity and is drinking wonderfully right now!  Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  July 2017

2005 Venteux Vineyards Petite Syrah

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2005 Venteux Vineyards Petite Syrah


Location:  Paso Robles, California 


Blend:  100% Petite Syrah   


We decanted this bottle of wine to find it had a deep dark purple color.  The wine had a beautiful bouquet giving off aromas of blueberries, plum, chocolate, pepper, and soft oak.  The wine was full bodied with tannins that melted away instantly as it hit the palate and left you with plush blueberries, sweet plum, mocha, pepper, and a hint of black tea.  The wine was from a magnum (1.5L) bottle and is defiantly in its plateau of maturity right now.  This well balanced wine drank like silk and left you with layers of complex but harmonizing fruit and earth notes.  Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  July 2017

2004 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon

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2004 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon


Location:  Alexander Valley, California 


Blend:  76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc  


We decanted this bottle to find it had a beautiful bouquet of black cherry, cassis fruit, violets, chocolate, and toasted oak.  The wine was medium ++ in body with polished tannins that gave way to hints of blackberries, cassis liquor, cocoa, soft herbs, oak, and minerals.  The wine is balanced with harmonious layers of fruit and earth.  This wine had a classic Alexander Valley cabernet style that was opulent yet elegant.  The wine paired wonderfully with our food and elevated the experience.  This wine is in its plateau of maturity but should continue developing nicely for another 8 years or so.  Recommended!  


Tasted:  July 2017

2015 Gelfand Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

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2015 Gelfand Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon


Location:  Paso Robles, California 


Blend:  Cabernet Sauvignon  


We decanted this bottle of wine to find it had an intensely concentrated bouquet giving off notes of blackberries, blueberries, currants, violets, vanilla, herbs, and soft oak.  This opaque purple beauty had integrated tannins that painted the palate with hints of blackberries, cassis fruit, currants, exotic spice, ground herbs, and dusty minerals.  This full bodied cabernet was brilliantly balanced with opulent layers of dark fruit that blended perfectly with dusty terroir notes.  This is a wine that will improve over time for those that have the patience to cellar it.  The wine is absolutely approachable right now but I would enjoy revisiting this in another decade.  Extremely Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  July 2017

2009 Buccella Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

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2009 Buccella Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon


Location:  Napa Valley, California 


Blend:  94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Franc  


What a wonderful bottle of wine!  The bouquet exuded rich aromas of blackberry, black cherry, licorice, violets, graphite, anise, and toasted oak.  The wine was full bodied with rounded tannins giving way to hints of luscious blackberries, cherries, cassis liquor, caramel, exotic spice, oak and powdered minerals.  This luxurious wine is concentrated yet elegant, as it harmoniously balances rich complex dark fruit layers with dusty minerals.  This wine is enjoyable right now, but can easily be cellared for another decade.  Extremely Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  July 2017

2004 Patz & Hall Chenoweth Ranch Pinot Noir

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2004 Patz & Hall Chenoweth Ranch Pinot Noir


Location:  Rutherford, California 


Blend:  100% Pinot Noir  


This pinot noir comes from the world famous Russian River Valley.  When we first approached the wine it had a nice bouquet of cherries, blackberries, pepper, oak and funk.  Some people in our group loved it and others thought the bottle was flawed.  I personally think the wine might have been exposed to some heat as it did seem somewhat flawed.  I have heard wonderful things about this vintage, but will need to look for another bottle as this truly needs to be readdressed.    


Tasted:  July 2017

2005 Bodegas Y Vinedos de Murcia "Pico Madama" Jumilla

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2005 Bodegas Y Vinedos de Murcia "Pico Madama" Jumilla


Location:  Spain 


Blend:  50% Monastrell, 50% Petit Verdot  


We indulged in this bottle of wine to found it had a brilliant bouquet of violets, blueberries, blackberries, cassis fruit, toasted oak, graphite, and minerals.  This dark purple wine was medium ++ in body with rounded tannins.  The palate was lush but elegant with concentrated flavors of blueberries, blackberry liquor, lead pencil, smoked herbs, and minerals.  This wine is complex with multiple layers of blended fruit and earth, which is profound yet restrained.  This is a wonderful bottle of wine that could age another 10 years, but is drinking splendidly right now.  Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  July 2017

2012 Levendi Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

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2012 Levendi Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon


Location:  Napa Valley, California 


Blend:  Cabernet Sauvignon  


This elegant yet powerful wine had a bouquet of black cherry, black currants, chocolate cake mix, herbs, and soft oak.  This full bodied wine had plush tannins that gave way to a luxurious finish that painted the palate with hints of blackberries, currants, mocha, herbs, and soft toasted oak.  The wine is complex with harmonizing layers that are balanced and supple.  This wine drank a little tight and needs more time to develop; thus, give it another 3 to 5 years.  Patience will definitely pay off for those that give this one some time.  Highly Recommended!    


Tasted:  July 2017

2004 Pio Cesare Barbaresco

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2004 Pio Cesare Barbaresco


Location:  Piedmont, Italy 


Blend:  100% Nebbiolo  


Wafting from my glass were aromas of plum, licorice, truffle, spice, and smoke.  The wine is medium ++ bodied with rounded tannins that give way to hints of bright red fruit, brown spices, tar, truffle, and a touch of cedar.  This vibrant wine is layered with ripe red fruits that bleed into complex layers of smoke, tar, and minerals.  The wine is drinking fantastic right now but could continue cellaring for another 10 years effortlessly.  This wine pairs beautifully with food and should be complimented with such in order to appreciate everything it has to offer.  Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  July 2017

2013 Beckmen Vineyards Purisima Mountain Vineyard Grenache

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2013 Beckmen Vineyards Purisima Mountain Vineyard Grenache


Location:  Los Olivos, California 


Blend:  100% Grenache  


This wine had a fantastic bouquet of raspberries, strawberries, white pepper, dried grass, and leafy herbs.  This elegant wine was complex with layers of ripe red fruits that blended nicely with hints of herbs and other earthy elements.  This wine is medium + in body with silky smooth tannins and nice acidity.  The palate is fresh with raspberries, stewed strawberries, ground herbs, nuts, and soft oak.  Recommended!    


Tasted:  July 2017

2006 Keenan Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 30th Anniversary

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2006 Keenan Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 30th Anniversary


Location:  Napa Valley, California 


Blend:  100% Cabernet Sauvignon  


This wine was made from 72% Estate, Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Pope Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  This deep dark beautiful wine had a lush bouquet of blackberries, cassis fruit, black currants, lead pencil, and toasted oak.  The wine was full bodied with integrated tannins that gave way to an elegantly long finish displaying hints of blackberries, black currants, anise spice, and crushed minerals.  The wine is complex with brilliantly layered dark fruits that harmoniously blend and bleed into the earthy terroir notes.  This is a powerful yet elegant wine that is drinking spectacularly wonderful right now, but has the potential to keep cellaring for another decade.  This wine was tasted from a magnum (1.5L) bottle.  Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  July 2017

2002 Araujo "Eisele Vineyard" Napa Valley Syrah

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2002 Araujo "Eisele Vineyard" Napa Valley Syrah


Location:  Napa Valley, California 


Blend:  96% Syrah, 4% Viognier  


This purple beauty had a rich but restrained bouquet giving off aromas of violets, boysenberry, blackberries, black raspberries, milk chocolate, smoked meats, and white pepper.  The wine is full bodied with silky smooth tannins that give way to a luxurious palate painted in blue & black fruits, mocha, wet cedar, and ground minerals.  The wine is powerful yet reserved with complex layers of blue and black fruits that harmonize brilliantly with it terroir notes.  This concentrated wine is dramatic and elegantly poised at the same time.  This wine is in its plateau of maturity, but showing no signs of decline.  Extremely Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  July 2017

1999 Novy Syrah Santa Lucia Highlands Garys’ Vineyard

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1999 Novy Syrah Santa Lucia Highlands Garys’ Vineyard


Location:  Santa Rosa, Sonoma, California 


Blend:  100% Syrah  


I opened this wine and decanted it to find it had a deep dark opaque purple color.  The wine had a beautiful bouquet of blackberries, cassis fruit, black cherries, toasted oak, minerals, and dirty dusty earth.  The wine was full bodied and shedding its tannins, leaving a palate painted in dusty earth, balanced with rich dark berry fruits.  The wine is drinking quiet nice and continued to open and get better as it did.  The wine was straight forward, rich and decadent with dust and earth blended into it.  The wine seemed a bit tired and was feeling its age.


Tasted:  August 2017

1991 Ferrari-Carano "Reserve" Sonoma Bordeaux Blend

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1991 Ferrari-Carano "Reserve" Sonoma Bordeaux Blend


Location:  Sonoma, California 


Blend:  Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Malbec  


This beautiful rich dark wine had an expressive bouquet with notes of ripe black fruits, vanilla, violets, and toasted oak blended with some soft spice.  The wine was full bodied with dissipating tannins and a luxurious mouth feel that was long and lingered with hints of blackberry, cassis liquor, oak, minerals, and soft dusty earth.  I drank this bottle of wine over a two day period and on the second day enjoyed the balance with some Sommelier friends.  Everyone was amazed at how well the wine was holding up and how the fruit was still very present and pronounced.  This is an amazing wine that was complex and perfectly balanced.  Extremely Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  August 2017

2013 Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit Blanc De Tablas

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2013 Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit Blanc De Tablas


Location:  Paso Robles, California 


Blend:  71% Roussanne, 21% Granache Blanc, 8% Picpoul Blanc  


This wine had a beautiful deep yellow color with a green hue.  The bouquet was filled with aromas of ripe pear, citrus blooms, sweet lemon, pink grapefruit, herbs, and a hint of maple.  This medium body wine is a lovely cuvee this has some aging potential, and was showing brilliantly on the palate.  This wine displays a plethora of pit and citrus fruit flavors that were restrained but opened up with a little time.  Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  August 2017

1999 Chateau Pavie

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1999 Chateau Pavie


Classification:  St. Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classe A 


Location:  St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France 


Blend:  55% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon  


This beautiful wine had a deep red color with hues of purple.  The wine had a brilliant bouquet giving off aromas of currants, blackberries, leafy tobacco, expresso, minerals, spices, toasted oak, graphite, and earth.  This full bodied wine had integrated tannins that gave way to a bold yet elegant palate displaying hints of black cherries, black currants, exotic spices, coffee, and sweet damp earthy wood.  This wine is complex with concentrated aromas and flavors that continue to be expressive in an elegant yet flamboyant way.  The wine is still quite youthful and is showing no sign of decline; however, is in its plateau of maturity and drinking wonderfully right now.  A stunning wine!  Extremely Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  August 2017

1969 Chateau Cheval Blanc

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1969 Chateau Cheval Blanc


Classification:  St. Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classe A 


Location:  St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France 


Blend:  66% Cabernet Franc, 34% Merlot  


We decanted this bottle of wine and did not expect too much as it was old and most likely in decline.  To our amazement the wine was not only approachable but enjoyable.  The wine was defiantly not in its perfection of drinkability window; however, was still holding on and had some life left in it.  The bouquet was barnyard funk mixed with dark berries, plum, cedar, spice box, and hints of tobacco.  The wine was medium in body with tannins that melted away leaving you with a long lingering finish giving off notes of fig, prune, tobacco, balsamic, and earth tones.  This wine was complex with layers of balanced fruit and earth that were framed perfectly in harmony.  The wine did drink a little tired but was spectacular none the less and a pleasant surprise to all at the table.  Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  August 2017

2010 Knights Bridge Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

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2010 Knights Bridge Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon


Location:  Napa Valley, California 


Blend:  100% Cabernet Sauvignon  


We decanted this bottle to find it had a lush bouquet giving off aromas of cassis fruit, chocolate, vanilla, leafy tobacco, animal fat, and baking spices.  The wine was elegant with integrated tannins, and a savory finish with notes of dark fruit, caramel, chocolate, oak, and dusty earth.  The wine is complex with rich balanced flavors that harmonize and blend brilliantly together.  This is a beautiful bottle of wine that was enjoyed from a magnum format.  Recommended!


Tasted:  August 2017

2004 M. Chapoutier Cote-Rotie Les Becasses

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2004 M. Chapoutier Cote-Rotie Les Becasses


Location:  Rhone Valley, France 


Blend:  100% Syrah  


I always love the wines from M. Chapoutier and this was no exception!  The wine had an expressive bouquet giving off notes of black raspberries, cassis fruit, sweet oak, smoke, balsamic vinegar, white pepper, herbs, and wet earth.  The wine was medium in body with rounded tannins and a nice finish displaying hints of mixed dark fruits, cedar, chalky minerals, and wet dusty earth mixed with herbs.  This wine has a fantastic nose with rich complex aromas, but is better on the nose than on the palate.  The fruit is starting to fade and it appears the bottle is beginning its decline.  Overall it was an enjoyable wine that had a fantastic classic Côte-Rôtie bouquet that continued to draw me in.  Recommended!


Tasted:  August 2017

2014 Juan Gil Jumilla Red Wine Vin Rouge

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2014 Juan Gil Jumilla Red Wine Vin Rouge


Location:  Spain 


Blend:  Monastrell  


This is an amazing deep red wine for its $15 price point!  The wine is rich and decadent with aromas of plum, blackberries, spice, and oak.  The wine is full bodied with seductive tannins that give way to a bold palate of fresh juicy dark fruits, plum, raspberry, raisins, vanilla, and soft oak.  The wine is straight forward and immensely enjoyable for anyone whom loves fruit forward wines.  The wine is balanced and has a wonderful long finish.  Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  August 2017

2010 Biondi Santi Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Annata

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2010 Biondi Santi Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Annata


Location:  Italy 


Blend:  100% Sangiovese  


This beautiful muscular wine had a bouquet of blackberries, flowers, currants, fresh herbs, licorice, and wet gravel.  The wine was full bodied with firm but integrated tannins that gave way to a lush luxurious palate displaying hints of cherry, wild berries, leafy tobacco, pepper, and minerals.  The wine seemed to evolve continuously in the glass and was complex both on the palate and nose.  This wine was elegant yet powerful and will definitely benefit from some cellaring, as it would be interesting to try it in another 5 years or so.  Extremely Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  August 2017

2007 Chateau Plince

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2007 Chateau Plince


Location:  Pomerol, Bordeaux, France 


Blend:  72% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon  


This beautiful red wine had a bouquet of black cherries, plums, spice, graphite and earthy minerals.  The wine was medium ++ in body with rounded tannins and a nice finish displaying hints of sweet black & red fruits, chocolate, and supple terroir notes.  The wine is fresh and easy drinking, but lacks depth and complexity.  A nice bottle of wine that is straight forward and easy on the pocket book; thus, for $20 it’s a great every day wine.  Recommended!


Tasted:  August 2017

2012 Château de la Font du Loup Châteauneuf-du-Pape

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2012 Château de la Font du Loup Châteauneuf-du-Pape


Location:  Southern Rhone, France 


Blend:  60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre, 5% Cinsault  


This wine had an amazing red color with hues of violet.  Boasting elegantly from my glass was an expressive bouquet of dried flowers, cherries, blackberries, vanilla, spice, and minerals.  The wine was medium bodied with silky smooth tannins that gave way to a beautiful long finish of crushed cherries, stewed dark fruits, anise spice, vanilla, and dusty earth.  The wine is complex with layers of fruit and earth that harmonize perfectly together.  This wine is drinking wonderfully right now and has the ability to continue cellaring for several more years.  The wine has great balance and depth and is elegantly sophisticated, but not overly pretentious.  Extremely Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  August 2017

2008 Deerfield Ranch Winery Amaro Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

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2008 Deerfield Ranch Winery Amaro Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon


Location:  Sonoma Valley, California 


Blend:  Cabernet Sauvignon  


This winey is nestled near the top of Mayacamus Mountain overlooking the Sonoma Valley.  The wine is aged for a total of 40 months in select French oak barrels, and is a limited production of only 860 bottles.  This is probable the best $40.00 bottle of wine I have ever tasted, as it is absolutely outstanding!  We indulged in this beauty over dinner with friends and found the bouquet to be expressive with aromas of currants, cassis fruit, cherries, chocolate, herbs, and dusty terroir.  The wine is full bodied with silky rounded tannins that give way to a long finish with hints of black berries, cherries, chocolate, leafy tobacco, herbs, and dusty earth.  The wine is complex with brilliant layers of fruit and earth that harmonize perfectly.  The wine was drinking quite youthful and showing no signs of age; thus, I expect this will cellar nicely for another 7 years or so.  However, it’s in a wonderful drinking window right now, so why wait.  Extremely Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  September 2017

2002 Penley Estate Special Select “The Traveller” Shiraz

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2002 Penley Estate Special Select “The Traveller” Shiraz


Location:  Coonawarra, South Australia 


Blend:  100% Shiraz  


I decanted this purple colored wine about an hour before we approached it.  The wine had a beautiful perfumed bouquet giving off aromas of blackberries, pomegranate, toasted oak, pepper, and herbs.  The wine was full bodied with integrated tannins and a long finish displaying hints of blackberries, pomegranate, currants, spice, pepper, toasted oak and dusty earth.  The wine is layered with earth and fruit notes that blend and harmonize beautifully together; thus, this complex wine has rich flavors yet is elegant showing restrain and finesse.  The wine is in its plateau of maturity and drinking brilliantly right now.  Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  September 2017

2012 Domaine Didier Dagueneau "Silex" Pouilly-Fumé

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2012 Domaine Didier Dagueneau "Silex" Pouilly-Fumé


Location:  Loire Valley, France 


Blend:  100% Sauvignon Blanc  


This beautiful yellow colored wine had an intense bouquet giving off aromas of lemon, lime, nuts, flowers, toasted bread, and minerals.  This clean wine had nice acidity, medium bodied, and a long finish giving off hints of citrus, melon, honey, grapefruit, and minerals.  This wine is fermented in oak and then transferred into old oak and stainless steel to keep the wine fresh.  The barrels are cigar shaped and were designed by Didier Dagueneau whom died in 2008, survived by his son Louis-Benjamin whom now runs things.  This wine is complex and deliciously expressive on the palate!  Extremely Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  September 2017

2008 Chateau d'Armailhac

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2008 Chateau d'Armailhac


Classification:  Fifth Growth in 1855 


Location:  Pauillac, Bordeaux, France 


Blend:  54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot  


This is a wine that needs to be decanted for at least an hour before approaching.  The wine had an elegant old world bouquet of cassis fruit, cranberry, cherries, smoky oak, spice, and minerals.  The wine is full bodied with bold tannins and a nice finish of red berry fruit, black currants, spice, toasted oak and dirty earth.  The wine is complex with polished old world finesse and elegantly harmonizes the layers of fruit and earth.  This wine need more time in the cellar and seemed to be drinking a little tight with its brisk tannin structure.  If you are going to enjoy this be sure to decant it at least an hour before enjoying; thus, it is absolutely a food friendly wine.  Recommended!


Tasted:  September 2017

2009 Domaine de Montille Beaune 1er Cru Les Sizies

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2009 Domaine de Montille Beaune 1er Cru Les Sizies


Location:  Burgundy, France 


Blend:  100% Pinot Noir  


Elegantly wafting from my glass were aromas of rose petals, violets, cranberries, currants, and wet earthy minerals.  The wine was medium bodied with a refined palate of strawberries, raspberries, cherries, spices, river rock, and a soft earthiness.  This is a beautifully balanced wine with a nice purity.  The wine is not funky, yet maintains some mineral and earthy nuances that harmonize brilliantly with the fruit.  The wine is drinking fantastic right now and is extremely approachable.  Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  September 2017

2012 Fontanella Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon

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2012 Fontanella Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon


Location:  Napa Valley, California 


Blend:  Cabernet Sauvignon  


This fantastic wine needs to be on every Napa Cabernet lover’s radar.  Jeff Fontanella (owner & winemaker) trained and worked at the prestigious Opus One and ZD before venturing off on his own and starting this beautiful winery.  This 2012 Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon is seductively rich with a bouquet of currants, cassis fruit, ripe plum, mocha, leafy herbs, spice, vanilla, and oak.  The wine is full bodied with rounded tannins that give way to a long finish displaying hints of tart currants, ripe plum, crushed tobacco, earthy minerals, and baking spices.  The wine is complex with concentrated fruit flavors that balance and harmonize brilliantly with its earthy terrier notes.  The wine is extremely approachable now but should continue to evolve nicely over the next 5 to 8 years.  This wine is priced around $50.00 and is an absolute bargain!  I can’t see this wine remaining at this bargain of a price for too much longer.  Extremely Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  September 2017

2004 JC Cellars Haley’s Reserve Syrah

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2004 JC Cellars Haley’s Reserve Syrah


Location:  Sonoma, California 


Blend:  100% Syrah  


This beautiful deep dark purple wine comes from the mountainy region of the Dry Creek Valley and a place known as Rockpile Vineyard, that is set at about 2000 foot elevation.  The wine has a rich flamboyant bouquet of ripe cherries, blackberries, cassis fruit, graphite, and smoke.  The wine is full bodied with rounded tannins and a long luxurious finish giving off notes of blackberries, blueberries, cassis fruit, crushed granite, vanilla, and soft spice.  The wine is layered with rich beautiful dark fruit flavors that harmoniously blend and balance perfectly with its subtle terroir notes.  The wine is bold yet elegant and does not drink hot like one might expect from a bottle having 15.4% alcohol.  This is an amazing wine and I’m not surprised that Robert Parker Jr. has given Jeff Cohn (Winemaker) such high scores over the years.  Extremely Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  September 2017

2013 M. Chapoutier "Barbe Rac" Chateauneuf-du-Pape

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2013 M. Chapoutier "Barbe Rac" Chateauneuf-du-Pape


Location:  Rhone, France 


Blend:  100% Grenache  


This beautiful purple wine has a lush bouquet of strawberries, boysenberries, cassis fruit, sandalwood, allspice, and white pepper.  The wine is full bodied with rounded tannins that give way to an elegant and long finish of strawberry compose, blackberries, plum, anise, minerals, and pepper.  This wine is extremely complex and will only get better with time, and will reward those with patience.  The depth and sophistication of this wine showcases juicy fruits against earthy minerals and spices, which seamlessly blend and harmonize together.  This is a fantastic bottle of wine!  Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  September 2017

2006 Pax "Griffin's Lair" Sonoma Coast Syrah

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2006 Pax "Griffin's Lair" Sonoma Coast Syrah


Location:  Sonoma, California 


Blend:  100% Syrah  


This deep dark opaque purple wine had a bouquet displaying a plethora of aromatics that were seductive and enticing.  Wafting from my glass was boysenberries, blackberries, crème de cassis, tar, olives, and smoked animal fat.  The wine was full bodied with lush integrated tannins that gave way to a long lingering finish of ripe blueberries, boysenberries, cassis liquor, olive paste, smoke, and an earthiness.  The wine is extremely velvety smooth and at its point of perfection; thus, the wine is balanced and displaying complex layers that perfectly harmonize and blend together.  This outstanding wine is showing brilliantly right now!  Extremely Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  October 2017

2012 Domaine Tempier Bandol

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2012 Domaine Tempier Bandol


Location:  Provence, France 


Blend:  75% Mourvèdre, 5% Grenache, Cinsault &Carignan  


We enjoyed this in a blind tasting and I thought it was a Chateauneuf du Pape.  The wine had a wonderful floral bouquet giving off aromas of cassis fruit, blackberries, raspberries, herbs, smoke, and earth.  The wine had a pleasant acidity with firm tannins and a nice linger finish giving off notes of blackcurrants, dark cherries, soy, tar, herbs, and earth.  This wine is well balanced with layers of fruit and earth, but I feel it will benefit with a little time in the cellar. Overall I was quite impressed with this wine and feel it is a perfect wine to pair with wild game type of food.  Recommended!


Tasted:  October 2017

2010 Chateau Langoa Barton

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2010 Chateau Langoa Barton


Classification:  Third Growth in 1855 


Location:  Bordeaux, France 


Blend:  70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc  


This full bodied wine displayed aromas of cassis fruit, blackberries, espresso, leather, cedar, spice and earthy minerals.  The wine has rounded tannins that give way to a polished finish with hints of blueberries, plum, cassis fruit, vanilla, herbs, spice, and forest floor.  The wine is complex with a balanced structure that harmonizes the layers of fruit and earth.  The wine is drinking really nice right now but should continue to evolve and get better with time.  This is a wine that could easily last another decade with no problem.  Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  October 2017

2001 Showket Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

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2001 Showket Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon


Location:  Napa Valley, California 


Blend:  Cabernet Sauvignon  


What a beautiful bottle of wine!  We tasted this wine blind and everyone could tell it was a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon from a high end producer.  One of the Sommeliers even said it had to be a wine made by Heidi Barrett; thus, she is the wine maker for this family owned vineyard estate.  The wine had an alluring bouquet of juicy blackberries, currants, crème de cassis, vanilla, cinnamon, dusty minerals and earth.  The wine was full bodied with integrated tannins and a long luxurious finish displaying ripe currants, blackberries, cassis fruit, baking spices, oak, and dusty minerals.  This is an amazing bottle of wine with complex layers of fruit and earth that brilliantly harmonize and balance together.  The wine is in its window of maturity and is drinking fantastic right now.  I don’t see this wine benefitting from more time in the cellar, as it’s in a perfection spot right now.   Extremely Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  October 2017

2013 Mark Herold Wines “Flux” Red Wine

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2013 Mark Herold Wines “Flux” Red Wine


Location:  Napa Valley, California 


Blend:  66% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 14% Mourvedre   


This beautiful dark beauty had a fresh concentrated bouquet giving off aromas of black cherry, licorice, blackberries, lavender, exotic spices, herbs, and minerals.  The wine was full bodied with integrated tannins that gave way to hints of pomegranate, cherry liqueur, blackberries, dried herbs, and dusty earth.  This is a really nice wine with a friendly price tag just under $30.00 and it will not disappoint.  It is a fruit forward wine with some complexity and layers that are nicely balanced.  Drink now over the next five years.  Recommended!


Tasted:  October 2017

1996 Chateau Leoville Las Cases

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1996 Chateau Leoville Las Cases


Classification:  Second Growth in 1855 


Location:  Saint Julien, Bordeaux, France 


Blend:  65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot  


This wine was enjoyed over dinner with great friends, whom indulged us with this beauty.  The wine was dark and purple in color with elegant yet powerful aromas of cassis fruit, black currants, kirsch liqueur, vanilla, cedar, and minerals.  The wine was full bodied with integrated tannins that gave way to a velvety concentrated palate of blackberries, cassis fruit, cherry liqueur, baking chocolate, and powdered minerals.  The wine is deliciously packed with complex layers of fruit and earth that brilliantly harmonize together.  The wine could easily continue cellaring; however, is drinking wonderfully right now.  Extremely Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  November 2017

1992 Ferrari-Carano "Reserve (Trésor)" Red Wine

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1992 Ferrari-Carano "Reserve (Trésor)" Red Wine


Location:  Sonoma County, California 


Blend:  54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Malbec, 11% Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot  


This wine was enjoyed with good friends and was beyond our expectations for such an old Sonoma Bordeaux styled blend.  The wine was opaque purple with a fragrant bouquet of violets, licorice, black currants, blackberries, vanilla, toasted oak, spice, and dusty earth.  The wine was full bodied with soft tannins that dissipated and left you with a seductively powerful finish giving off hints of cassis liqueur, cherries, blackberries, soft exotic spice, dried herbs, and dusty earth.  The wine is brilliantly balance with layers of complexity and a heaviness that is powerful yet elegantly polished.  The wine was complimented with a nice steak and paired perfectly.  This wine is drinking spectacularly right now and although not showing any signs of decline I would not wait.  Drink this now if you have it in your cellar!  Extremely Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  November 2017

2014 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey St. Aubin Premier Cru "Les Champlots"

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2014 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey St. Aubin Premier Cru "Les Champlots"


Classification: 1er Cru 


Location:  Cote-D’Or, Burgundy, France 


Blend:  100% Chardonnay   


I tasted this blind with a group of Sommelier friends and instantly know it was a white Burgundy.  The wine had an exquisite bouquet of citrus fruit, lemon curd, truffle, flowers, freshly baked bread, and earthy minerals.  The palate was crisp and clean yet carried weight and had a wonderful finish displaying hints of lemon, white truffle, and flowers.  The wine is amazingly complex with sweet and supple flavors that tantalize the mid palate.  This outstanding chardonnay is made from vines that are over 30 years of old.  This is one of those white Burgundies that could sit in the cellar and age; however, it is absolutely delicious right now.  Extremely Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  December 2017

2014 Saffron Fields Vineyard Willamette Valley Chardonnay

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2014 Saffron Fields Vineyard Willamette Valley Chardonnay


Location:  Oregon 


Blend:  100% Chardonnay  


At a blind wine tasting with some Sommelier friends I indulged them with this beauty right after tasting a White Burgundy.  Almost everyone knew it was Oregon Chardonnay, but a few though it could be Burgundy.  This wine is very Burgundian in style and has a lovely bouquet of lemon blossoms, peaches, apricots, vanilla, and minerals.  The wine is well balanced and displays a crisp yet medium body palate with hints of apricot, lemon curd, toast, vanilla, minerals, and other stone fruits.  This wine is absolutely delicious and is drinking beautifully right now; however, has the ability to be cellared for a few years.  Truly a quality wine!  Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  December 2017

2013 Saffron Fields Vineyard Yamhill Carlton Pinot Noir

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2013 Saffron Fields Vineyard Yamhill Carlton Pinot Noir


Location:  Oregon 


Blend:  100% Pinot Noir  


This was blind tasted with some Sommelier friends, and one Sommelier yelled out “thank God it’s a really fine high end producer of Oregon Pinot Noir!”  It is truly Burgundian in style with a brilliant bouquet of raspberries, black cherry, violets, vanilla, spice, and a hint of crème brulee.  The wine was rich on the palate with integrated tannins that gave way to a long smooth finish displaying notes of cherries, plum, blueberry, licorice, toasted oak, minerals, and black tea.  The wine is complex with lovely layers of fruit and earth that are balanced and harmonize perfectly together.  This is a beautifully made wine that is drinking wonderfully right now, but can easily be cellared for another 8 years.  Extremely Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  December 2017

2013 Kaiken Mai “The First” Malbec

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2013 Kaiken Mai “The First” Malbec


Location:  Argentina 


Blend:  100% Malbec  


This beautifully dark opaque purple wine has a concentrated new world fruit forward bouquet displaying hints of plum, blackberries, black cherries, currants, vanilla, olives, and leafy tobacco.  The wine is full bodied with rounded tannins that give way to a luxurious and elegantly long fishing showing notes of black cherries, blackberries, currants, baking spices, and earthy tobacco.  The wine is lush with rich and generous sweet fruits while remaining a wonderfully dry red wine.  If you like fruit forward wines then this velvety wine will paint your palate with a plethora of concentrated dark fruits that are balanced with soft baking spices and tobacco.  The wine has the ability to continue cellaring; however, it extremely approachable now due to its rounded tannin structure.  Extremely Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  December 2017

2013 Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate”

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2013 Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate”


Location:  Monte Bello Vineyard, Cupertino, California 


Blend:  75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc  


We tasted this wine from a magnum bottle and found that it got better with time.  The wine is quite tannic and should be decanted a few hours before approaching.  This dark purple wine had a bouquet giving off aromas of blackberries, currants, licorice, herbs, exotic spices, and toasted oak.  The wine is full to medium bodied with nice acidity that balances the palate with notes of blackberries, blueberries, cassis fruit, dried sage, baking spices, and crushed minerals.  This wine is complex and truly needs to be put away in the cellar for 6 to 8 years before touching it.  Truly a great value for its price range and is a beautiful wine.  Highly Recommended!    


Tasted:  December 2017

1995 Chateau Clos L’ Eglise

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1995 Chateau Clos L’ Eglise


Location:  Pomerol, Bordeaux, France 


Blend:  60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc  


This wonderful wine was enjoyed at a blind tasting with some sommelier friends.  On first approach I knew this was a Bordeaux wine as it had a bouquet of cherries, raspberries, chocolate, sage, minerals, and dusty earth.  The wine was medium to full bodied with velvety smooth tannins that gave way to a nice finish displaying hints of red berry fruit, milk chocolate, honey suckle, dried herbs, oak, and dusty earth.  The wine is classily old world with complex layers of fruit and earth that are balanced nicely and harmonize well together.  This wine is in its plateau of maturity and drinking quite nice right now.  Highly Recommended!    


Tasted:  December 2017

2014 Domaine des Perdrix Vosne-Romanée

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2014 Domaine des Perdrix Vosne-Romanée


Location:  Vosne-Romanée, Burgundy, France 


Blend:  100% Pinot Noir  


Another wonderful wine enjoyed with my sommelier friends during a blind tasting.  The wine had a concentrated bouquet of dark cherries, graphite, exotic spices, herbs, and some leather.  This medium to full bodied wine had integrated tannins that led to a long finish dressed in exotic spices, dark cherries, and soft dusty earth.  I could tell this was something from Burgundy but didn’t feel it had the pedigree of something I would expect from Vosne-Romanée.  The wine lacks elegance and fruit and I fear more time in the cellar isn’t going to help.    


Tasted:  December 2017

2014 Justin Isosceles

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2014 Justin Isosceles


Location:  Paso Robles, California 


Blend:  73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 12% Merlot  


This bold red wine has a fruit forward bouquet displaying aromas of blackberries, plum, cassis fruit, spices, vanilla, and oak.  This wine is full bodied with rounded tannins that give way to a rich decadent finish with hints of blackberries, plum, currants, asphalt, baking spices, and soft cedar.  The wine is complex with bold layers of fruit being complimented with notes of spice and earth.  This wine is drinking nice right now but has the ability to be cellared for another 10 years effortlessly.  Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  December 2017

2010 Crane Family Vineyards Merlot Don Raffaele Estate

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2010 Crane Family Vineyards Merlot Don Raffaele Estate


Location:  Napa Valley, Califronia 


Blend:  Merlot  


This bottle of wine was a gift from a good friend of mine whom moved to Spain.  He had indulged me with this wine years ago and I made the comment that it needed more time; thus, the reason he gave me one.  My older boy (26) loves merlot and was coming over, so I decided to give it a try.  I decanted the wine to find it had a very dark ruby red color with an expressive bouquet displaying aromas of cherries, currants, vanilla, incense, and oak.  The wine was medium to full body with integrated tannins that gave way to a rich long finish with hints of black cherries, wild berries, currants, vanilla, soft spice and oak.  This wine is nicely balanced with red and black fruit flavors that harmonize beautifully with elegant terroir notes.  This is a winery I defiantly want to look into and explore more, as the wine was quite impressive.  Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  December 2017

2014 Écluse Inaugural Blend Insider

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2014 Écluse Inaugural Blend Insider


Location:  Paso Robles, California 


Blend:  37% Syrah, 37% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon  


This wine is extremely limited with only 56 cases produced.  A good friend indulged me with this wine at a blind tasting and I instantly knew it was New World.  The wine had a rich fruit forward bouquet giving off decadent aromas of plum, black cherry, currants, vanilla, anise spice, chocolate, and earthy tobacco.  The wine was full bodied with rounded tannins that gave way to a palate painted in dark fruits, vanilla, chocolate, caramel and dried tobacco.  The wine is balanced with amazing dark fruit and savory baking spices that leave you wanting more.  This complex concentrated wine is approachable now but should continue to evolve nicely in the cellar.  Extremely Highly Recommended!   


Tasted:  December 2017

1970 Chateau Latour

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1970 Chateau Latour


Classification:  First Growth in 1855 


Location:  Pauillac, Bordeaux, France 


Blend:  80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc & Petit Verdot  


We enjoyed this spectacular First Growth from a magnum on New Year’s, as a very good friend pulled it from his cellar.  The wine had a dark red color with hues of purple and an outstanding bouquet giving off notes of black berries, cassis fruit, truffles, lead pencil, tobacco, cedar, and other earthy mineral terroir nuances.  The wine was full bodied with tannins that instantly dissipated as they hit the palate, leaving you with a long elegant finish of dark fruits that brilliantly harmonized with dusty earth, wet minerals, tobacco, and other terroir notes.  This is an amazing wine with complex layers of fruit and earth that are perfectly balanced.  We were fortunate to taste this from a magnum as it was still quite lively, and hadn’t gone over the edge yet.  This wine is defiantly in its window of maturity and should be enjoyed now!    


Tasted:  December 2017