Tasting / Oct 2014 - Sep 2016

2013 Caymus Vineyards Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon

image2

2013 Caymus Vineyards Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 


  Location: Napa Valley, California


  Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon   


This Caymus Special Selection is truly special! The wine was opaque with hues of purple and garnet and a bouquet with intense aromas of supple blackberries, black currants, sweet plums, toasted oak, sage, and soft spice. The wine is full bodied with well integrated rounded tannins that give way to a luxurious finish with hints of concentrated wild berries, cassis liquor, currants, smoke, and soft oak. This wine is brilliantly balanced, bold yet elegant, concentrated and complex, with layers of rich dark fruit and toasted oak blended with sage. The wine is extremely approachable now; however, for those with patience this wine will only get better. I would be interested in trying this in 2023 but know it could easily last another 10 years after that. Extremely Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  September 2016


2011 Provenance Vineyards Sleeping Lady Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

image3

2011 Provenance Vineyards Sleeping Lady Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon


   Location: Napa Valley, California


  Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon


   Over a wonderful lunch this wine was enjoyed and showed beautifully. The wine was opaque ruby red with hues of purple and a bouquet that was concentrated with rich dark fruits. Aromas that wafted from the glass were black cherries, blackberries, cassis fruit, dark chocolate, and soft spice. The wine was full bodied with rounded tannins that gave way to a plush mouthfeel with a palate being painted by blackberries, cherries, sage, and soft oak. This is wine is drinking great right now but has the ability to be cellared for several more years. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  August 2016


1997 Flora Springs "Rutherford Hillside Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

image4

1997 Flora Springs "Rutherford Hillside Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon


   Location: Napa Valley, California


  Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon   


I enjoyed this bottle of wine with some good friends, and found it had a deep purple color. The wine was decanted about 30 minutes before we approached it and the bouquet displayed hints of cassis fruit, concentrated black cherries, blackberries, coffee, toasted oak, and spices. The wine was medium + in body with velvety smooth tannins that painted the palate with notes of currants, black cherries, plum, coffee, dusty earth, and soft spices. There was something sweet on the backend that I just couldn’t put my finger on, but it was a welcomed finish. The wine was complex with bold flavors that were layered, giving balance and sophistication. This wine is defiantly in its plateau of maturity and showing very little signs of approaching decline. A great representation for aged Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and just how complex and powerful these wines can be! Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  July 2016


2012 Chateau Margene Cask 4

image5

2012 Chateau Margene Cask 4


   Location: Paso Robles, California


  Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon   


A good friend surprised a group of us with this special bottle of wine. We decanted the wine to find it had a deep dark purple red color with aromas of blackberries, cassis fruit, black cherries, coffee, and toasted oak. The wine was extremely smooth on the palate with velvety tannins that gave way to hints of blueberries, blackberries, licorice, wet herbs, and dusty espresso. This wine was layered with rich dark fruits and soft notes of sage and other herbs. This complex balanced wine is expressively elegant and yet youthfully bold. The wine is extremely approachable and drinking wonderfully right now! Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  July 2016

2012 Mystic Hills Vineyard Gran Trio

image6

2012 Mystic Hills Vineyard Gran Trio


   Location: Monterey County, California


  Blend: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot   


A good friend presented this bottle to share with a few friends, and I was lucky enough to be there. The wine had a fruit forward bouquet with aromas of black cherries, blueberries, cassis fruit, leafy tobacco, and exotic spices. The wine was medium + in body with well integrated tannins that gave way to a layered finish displaying notes of rich blueberries and red fruits, vanilla, herbs, and intriguing spices. The wine showed nice depth, good balance, and is drinking wonderfully right now. This wine is outstanding for its bargain price of $25.00 a bottle; thus, Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  July 2016

2007 Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

image7

2007 Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon   


Location: Napa Valley, California  


Blend: 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot   


A good friend indulged me and a few other friends with this beautifully aged Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. I decanted this bottle of wine and we gave it about 30 minutes before we began enjoying this dark ruby red wine with an aromatic bouquet displaying hints of black currants, black cherries, plum, herbs, soft cedar, and spiced chocolate. The wine was medium + in body with smooth supple tannins that gave way to a layered finish with hints of blackberry, cassis fruit, fig, spice, and dusty minerals. This was a beautiful balanced wine with complexity and depth, as time has allowed this wine to blossom into a brilliant bottle of wine. This wine is in its plateau of maturity and in a wonderful drinking window right now. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  July 2016

2005 Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume

image8

2005 Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume


Location:  Loire, France


Blend:  Chenin Blanc


This golden beauty has a tropic fruit forward bouquet displaying hints of guava, mango, pineapple, peaches, and honeysuckle.  The wine is crisp and lush on the palate with a velvety sweet finish of candied mango, fresh guava juice, blood orange, pears, crisp herbs, and a hint of brown spice.  The wine is impressively concentraited yet not over powering.  This wine had a wonderful complexity and beautiful balance.  I hear this wine can age till 2032; however, it is wonderful right now and spectacularly enjoyable.  Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  June 2016


2014 Gefand Vineyards "Menage a Bunch" Red Wine

image9

2014 Gelfand Vineyards "Menage a Bunch" Red Wine


Location:  Paso Robles, California


Blend:  25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Petite Sirah, 25% Syrah, 25% Zinfandel


A good friend indulged me with this bottle of wine, and he had a fun story to go with it about how he met the owner and had a blast tasting these amazing wines.  We decanted the bottle to find it had a deep dark opaque purple color, and as we decanted aromas wafted up of rich dark berry fruit.  The wine had a fruit forward bouquet with hints of ripe cassis fruit, black currents, blackberries, vanilla, soft spice, and soft oak.  The wine was full bodied with lush tannins that balanced perfectly with crushed wild berries, black cherries, licorice, oak, and vanilla.  The wine is bold with rich dark fruits, but bone dry and silky smooth on the palate.  This wine is approachable now, but could easily cellar for a decade with ease.  Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  June 2016

2010 Provenance Vineyards "Barrel Select" Cabernet Sauvignon

image10

2010 Provenance Vineyards "Barrel Select" Cabernet Sauvignon


Location:  Napa Valley, California


Blend:  Cabernet Sauvignon


A good friend shard this bottle with me and it was a beautiful bottle of wine.  Wafting from the glass this red beauty displayed hints of black currants, black cherries, cassis liqueur, soft spice, and cedar.  This medium + wine had smooth tannins that gave way to a lush finish of juicy dark fruits, holiday spices, and cedar.  The wine was balanced with seductive dark fruits that blended nicely with spice and wood.  This wine is still quite youthful but extremely approachable right now.  Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  May 2016

2012 O'Brien Estate Passion of the Soul

image11

2012 O'Brien Estate Passion of the Soul


Location:  Napa Valley, California


Blend:  Cabernet Sauvignon


In 2000 Bart and Barbara O'Brien acquired this property; however, all of the O'Brien Estate wines are made from grapes in the Oak Knoll area.  This is an interesting facet because their vineyard is adjacent to the famous Hanna Vineyard that provided the grapes that made the 1973 Chateau Montelena wine that caused the 1976 Paris upset.  The 2012 Passion of the Soul has a deep dark ruby color with hues of purple.  The wine has a rich bouquet with aromas of cassis fruit, black currants, plum, licorice, chocolate, and soft oak.  The wine was medium ++ in body with powerful tannins that blended and balanced with hints of concentrated black fruits, licorice, exotic spice, and toasted oak.  This is a bold wine that is complex with dark fruits enveloped by rich smooth tannins.  The wine can be enjoyed now, but should improve over the next decade.  Recommended!


Tasted:  May 2016

2010 B Cellars Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

image12

2010 B Cellars Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon


Location:  Napa Valley, California


Blend:  100% Cabernet Sauvignon


This deep dark beauty had an explosive bouquet with aromas wafting from the glass giving off hints of plum, sweet blackberries, cherries, soft spice and earth.  The wine was medium ++ in body with present but integrated tannins that balanced harmoniously with a luxurious finish displaying notes of wild black berries, cola, river rock, and a touch of pepper.  This wine is extremely well structured and has great depth and complexity.  The only negative is there were only 225 cases of this made, so buy it if you find it!  This wine will only improve with some cellar time and should evolve nicely over the next decade.  Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  May 2016

2010 Dakota Shy Cabernet Sauvignon

image13

2010 Dakota Shy Cabernet Sauvignon


Location:  Napa Valley, California


Blend:  Cabernet Sauvignon


A good friend of mine indulged me with this wine, and I became quite taken with it.  The wine had a beautiful bouquet of blackberries, cherries, wild berry fruit, herbs, and oak.  The wine was a full bodied Cab with harmonizing tannins that balanced perfectly with hints of blackberries, cassis fruit, tasted herbs, wet minerals, and other dark berry fruits.  This wine was layered with concentrated dark fruits that blended and balanced wonderfully with hints of earth.  This complex approachable wine is drinking great right now, but should continue to evolve nicely for those willing to be patient.  Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  April 2016

2003 Raymond St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon

image14

2003 Raymond St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon


Location:  Napa Valley, California


Blend:  100% Cabernet Sauvignon


This beautiful deep dark garnet wine had a fresh bouquet with hints of violets, blackberries, cassis fruit, black cherry, black licorice, chocolate, and earthy minerals.  The wine was medium + in body with silky smooth tannins that gave way to a lush finish displaying notes of currants, blackberries, sweet cassis fruit, blueberries, pepper, minerals, and cocoa dust.  The wine was complex with layers of concentrated fruit and balanced with crushed minerals.  The wine is rich and still quite youthful, yet is in its plateau of maturity.  Recommended!


Tasted:  April 2016

2012 Darius II

image15

2012 Darius II


Location:  Napa Valley, California


Blend:  95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot


This beautiful bottle of wine is produced by Darioush, and as we decanted the bottle it displayed a deep dense red color with hues of purple.  The wine had a gorgeous bouquet that gave off notes of fleshy cassis fruit, black cherry, currants, plum, minerals, coffee, and soft spice.  The wine is medium ++ in body with integrated tannins that give way to a smooth palate with hints of creamy concentrated black & red fruits, blueberries, herbs, mocha, stone minerals, led pencil, and sweet dusty earth.  This wine is layered with depth and sophistication, while being approachable and simplistically brilliant.  This wine is still in its infancy and will continue to evolve and mature nicely over the next decade.  Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  April 2016


2009 Ridge California Sonoma County Three Valleys

image16

2009 Ridge California Sonoma County Three Valleys


Location:  Sonoma Valley, California


Blend:  70% Zinfandel, 10% Petit Sirah, 15% Carignane, 3% Grenache, 2% Mataro


A good friend of mine blind tasted me on this and I thought it had a cabernet sauvignon type of bouquet, but on the palate I could tell it was not a cab.  The wine had a dark ruby color with aromas of cherry, dark wild berries, tobacco, and soft spice.  The wine was full bodied with inegrated tannins that gave way to hints of blackraspberries, boysenberries, herbs, sweet spice, and pepper.  This wine is complex and gracefully balanced with rich fruit flavors that harmonize nicely with the herbs and silky spice notes.  The wine is a fantastic value, and as such is Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  March 2016

2003 Forth La Rousse Vineyard Syrah

image17

2003 Forth La Rousse Vineyard Syrah


Location:  Dry Creek Balley, Sonoma, California


Blend:  100% Syrah


We decanted this bottle to find it had a deep dark purple color.  The wine had an expressive bouquet of blackberrie, black cherries, plum, dried herbs, pepper, and ground coffee.  The wine was medium ++ in body with velvety smooth tannins that gave way to hints of black plum, blackberries, herbs, expresso, and dusty minerals.  This wine is in its plateau of maturity and drinking wonderfully right now!  This is a great example of a wine with a good value being age worthy.  Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  March 2016

1999 Charles Krug Winery (Peter Mondavi Family) Cabernet Sauvignon

image18

1999 Charles Krug Winery (Peter Mondavi Family) Cabernet Sauvignon


Location:  Napa Valley, California


Blend:  Cabernet Sauvignon


I decanted this bottle of wine to find it had a deep dark purple color with garnet hues.  The wine had a lush bouquet with aromas of black currants, cassis fruit, cherries, plum, toasted herbs, mocha, and soft cedar.  The wine was medium ++ in body with integrated tannins that gave way to hints of ripe dark berry fruit, soft spice, mocha, and dusty earth.  The wine is complex with balanced layers of harmonizing fruit and earth.  This wine is drinking spectacularly smooth with a richness of elegance, and is defiantly in its plateau of maturity.  This is a perfect example of aged California cabernet sauvignon.  Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  February 2016


2009 Tenuta Vitalonga Phi Natura Armonia Umbria

image19

2009 Tenuta Vitalonga Phi Natura Armonia Umbria


Location:  Italy


Blend:  Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Merlot & Cabernet Franc


This is a high quality wine with a price point under $30.00 and I could not believe how good it was!  The wine had a wonderfully floral bouquet with aromas of dark wild berries, cherry, currants, plum, leafy tobacco, spice, and minerals.  The wine was full bodied with silky smooth tannins and a juicy palate displaying hints of blackberries, cherries, vanilla, fig, baking spices, herbs, and minerals.  The wine was harmoniously balanced with layers of complexity and a long lingering finish.  The wine is drinking great right now; however, is still quite youthful and should continue evolving nicely over the next few years.  Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  February 2016

2002 Casa Lapostolle BOROBO

image20

2002 Casa Lapostolle BOROBO


Location: Chile 


Blend: 35% Syrah, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Camenere, 15% Pinot Noir, 10% Merlot


We decanted this bottle of wine to find it had a dark red color with hues of purple. The wine had an old world bouquet with aromas of cassis fruit, black cherry, violets, toasted herbs, and earthy graphite. The wine was silky smooth with velvety tannins that gave way to a complex finish displaying hints of strawberry, cassis fruit, black and red wild berries, baking spices, vanilla, and dusty earth. The wine was medium in body with a complicated but harmonious structure that seamlessly balanced perfectly. This wine is in its plateau of maturity and drinking wonderfully right now. Recommended!


Tasted:  February 2016

2005 Sine Qua Non The Petition

image21

2005 Sine Qua Non The Petition


Location: California


Blend: 37% Viognier, 33% Roussanne, 30% Chardonnay  


This beautiful California white wine had a bright golden color. The wine was abundantly fragrant with rich concentrated aromas of pears, pineapple, lychee, mango, perfume, white flowers, soft spice and minerals. The wine was dense and flamboyant with complex bold flavors that were harmoniously balanced and gave way to a long luxurious finish displaying hints of cooked pineapple, pears, papaya, almonds, and other warm chewy tropical fruits. This wine is uniquely intense with rich tropical fruit flavors that blend and balance with soft spices and minerals. This was unlike any white wine I had ever had, and if they were all made like this I would drink more white wine! Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  February 2016

2001 Yalumba The Octavius

image22

2001 Yalumba The Octavius


Location: Barossa Valley, Australia 


Blend: 100% Shiraz  


I decanted this dark opaque purple wine to find it had a beautiful bouquet of blackberries, cassis fruit, black cherry liqueur, figs, chocolate, and earthy oak. The wine was full bodied with integrated rounded tannins that gave way to a luxurious finish coating the palate with hints of concentrated black and blue fruits, rustic herbs, soft spice, and sweet dusty earth. The wine is complex with layers of dark fruit balanced with a soft underlining earthiness. This wine is displaying itself quite youthful and showing no signs of declining anytime soon. This wine is in its plateau of maturity and drinking spectacular right now! Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  February 2016

2012 JD Diamond Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon

image23

2012 JD Diamond Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon


Location: Napa Valley, California 


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


Some good friends invited us over for dinner and pulled this beauty from their cellar. They had acquired this bottle when they toured Schramsberg Vineyards in August of 2015. Schramsberg is well known for their sparkling wines; however, their estate grown Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is absolutely something special. The wine was decanted to find it had a beautiful deep dark garnet color with purple hues. The wine wafted from the glass with a bright bouquet of blueberries, blackberries, black raspberries, cherries, spice, smoke, and earthy minerals. The wine was bold on the palate with rounded tannins, but sophisticated and elegant with complex layers and harmonizing flavors. The finish was long with concentrated ripe wild berries, leafy tobacco, spices, oak, and just a hint of sweet molasses. This silky complex wine is drinking spectacularly right now, but should continue to evolve nicely over the next 10 years or so. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  February 2016

2011 Round Pond Estate Proprietary Red

image24

2011 Round Pond Estate Proprietary Red


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Petit Verdot, 29% Malbec  


A good friend indulged me with this Napa wine, only to find it have a beautiful dark purple color. The wine had a rich bouquet with aromas of blackcurrants, plum, licorice, cassis fruit, exotic spices, and a hint of oak. The wine was medium ++ in body with rounded tannins and a dark fruit concentrated palate with hints of wild blackberries, fig, quince, spiced nuts, and earthy oak. The wine is complex with balanced layers of focused fruit and earthy wood notes. I often find the 2011 Napa vintage to be overly oaked and smoky from a heavy toast on the barrels; yet, this wine displayed none of that! This is a wonderful bottle of wine that has turned out to be one of my favorites for the vintage. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  January 2016

2002 Yalumba The Signature

image25

2002 Yalumba The Signature


Location: Barossa Valley, Australia 


Blend: 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Shiraz  


The wine was an opaque purple color with a lush bouquet of cherry, blackcurrants, blackberries, violets, licorice, leather and smoked herbs. The wine was medium + + in body with rounded tannins that gave way to a long seductive finish displaying hints of red and black berry fruits, sweet cherries, tobacco, black pepper, and cedar. The wine is complex with dense concentrated fruit and powerful earth nuances. This wine coats the palate and saturates your taste buds with expressive yet harmonious flavors. This wine is in its plateau of maturity, yet still holding onto some youthful characteristics. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  January 2016

1998 Chateau Cos d’Estournel

image26

1998 Chateau Cos d’Estournel


Classification: Second Growth in 1855 


Location: Saint Estephe, Bordeaux, France 


Blend: 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot


This wine displayed a beautifully dark ruby red color with a wonderful bouquet giving off aromas of currants, black cherry, licorice, toasted herbs, and earthy minerals. The wine was medium + in body with polished tannins and a brilliant finish showing hints of ripe plum, sweet cherries, olive past, herbs, graphite, and dusty earth. This was a complex layered wine that was harmoniously balanced and elegantly sophisticated. The wine is in its plateau of maturity and drinking spectacularly right now! Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  January 2016

2012 Mollydooker Carnival of Love

image27

2012 Mollydooker Carnival of Love


Location: McLaren Vale, Australia 


Blend: 100% Shiraz


We decanted this bottle of wine to find it had an opaque purple color. The wine had a bold fruit forward bouquet with aromas of cassis fruit, black cherries, blackberries, chocolate, dried herbs and a hint of exotic spice. This wine was full bodied with integrated tannins and a luxurious long finish showcasing hints of crushed blackberries, concentrated blue and black fruits, crème de cassis, spice and smoky herbs. It is easy to see why Wine Spectator ranked this wine No. 2 in their top 100 wines of 2014. The wine is brilliantly structured with rich bold layers and a focused intensity. This complex rich wine is fleshy and chewy yet elegant and sophisticated. The wine is still quite youthful but extremely approachable; however, should continue to develop nicely over the next 10 years. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  January 2016

2004 Darioush “Signature” Cabernent Sauvignon

image28

2004 Darioush “Signature” Cabernent Sauvignon


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot


We decanted this bottle of wine to find it had a deep dark purple color. The wine had a rich bouquet with aromas of concentrated cassis fruit, blackberries, mocha, exotic spices, and a soft earthiness. The wine was medium to full-bodied with velvety rounded tannins that gave way to a nice long finish displaying hits of crème de cassis, licorice, blackberries, mocha, earth and allspice. The wine was sophisticated and elegant with bold complex layers that balanced harmoniously. This wine is still drinking quite youthful, but is in its plateau of maturity. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  January 2016

2008 Schramsberg Extra Brut

image29

2008 Schramsberg Extra Brut


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: 80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay


This sparkling beauty had a lovely bouquet with hints of freshly cut apple slices, fresh melon, honeysuckle, bread, and nuts. The wine displayed perfect acidity balance with a crisp palate displaying notes of orange peel, apricot, pineapple, and cut almonds. This wine was sophisticated and bright with harmonious flavors that lingered, leaving you with a nice long finish. This is the driest sparkling wine that Schramsberg produces, as it has less than 4.5 grams of residual sugar per liter. A brilliant example of California doing sparkling wine that is age worthy. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  January 2016

1982 Chateau Beychevelle

image30

1982 Chateau Beychevelle


Classification: Fourth Growth in 1855 


Location: St. Julien, Bordeaux, France


Blend: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot


This is one of the wines we enjoyed over New Years with some good friends! We decanted this bottle of wine to find it had a deep dark purple color with just a hint of bricking towards the rim of the glass. The wine had a classic old world Bordeaux bouquet with aromas of black currants, plum, herbs, licorice, truffle, graphite, earth, and incense. The wine was medium + in body with polished tannins that gave way to a long luxurious finish displaying lovely hints of blackberry, red plum, herbs, soft spice, and powdered earth. The wine was concentrated with complex layers and drank quite youthful for its age. This was a beautiful bottle of wine that was impressively elegant with sophistication and rich bold flavors. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  January 2016

2007 E. Guigal Châteauneuf-du-Pape

image31

2007 E. Guigal Châteauneuf-du-Pape


Location: Rhone, France  


Blend: 80% Vieux Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre, & 5% others


A good friend of mine indulged me with this beautiful bottle of wine. We decanted it to find it had a nice dark ruby red color. The wine had a fleshy fruit bouquet with aromas of blackberry, currants, black cherries, raspberries, licorice, and exotic spices. The wine was medium in body with smooth rounded tannins that gave way to a long finish displaying hints of plum, blackberry, dark chocolate, toasted wood, and soft spice. The wine was complex yet balanced with old world sophistication. This wine was drinking wonderfully but is still quite youthful and could continue cellaring for several more years for those with the patience. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  December 2015

2012 B CELLARS BLEND 26 Cabernet Sauvignon

image32

2012 B CELLARS BLEND 26 Cabernet Sauvignon     


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Petite Verdot  


We decanted this bottle of wine to find it had a deep dark garnet color. This wine had an old world styled bouquet with aromas of cassis fruit, currants, cherries, exotic spices, chocolate and earthy minerals. The wine is medium ++ in body with bold rounded tannins that give way to an intriguing palate displaying hints of ripe cherries, wild berries, oak, graphite, and mocha. This wine is complex with integrated layers of fruit and earthy minerals. This is a bold balanced wine that will evolve over time and will blossom spectacularly for those with the patience to cellar it. This wine is a sleeping giant that I look forward to re-approaching five (5) years from now. Highly Recommended!    


Tasted:  December 2015

1999 Chateau Montelena "The Montelena Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon

image33

1999 Chateau Montelena "The Montelena Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon   


Location: Napa Valley 


Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon    


 After enjoying a lovely evening out with some good friends we all retired to the couch with a nice glass of this wine. This deep dark garnet wine was a perfect way to end a great night. The wine had an expressive bouquet with aromas of black cherry, plum, currants, chocolate, tobacco, and soft earthy minerals. The wine was medium + in body with velvety smooth tannins that gave way to a long lingering finish that coated the palate with hints of cassis fruit, plum, black cherries, blackberries, herbs, and minerals. The wine was complex with layers of balanced fruit and earth. This wine is in its plateau of maturity; however, is displaying itself quite youthful and could probable continue cellaring for another 8 to 10 years. This is a brilliant bottle of wine that was sophisticated and elegant, as it is in a sweet spot right now and displaying itself spectacularly. Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  December 2015  

1978 Charles Noellat Romanée St. Vivant

image34

1978 Charles Noellat Romanée St. Vivant  


Location: Burgundy, France 


Blend: 100% Pinot Noir 


 The wine had a brilliant ruby color with a hint of browning at the edge. This wine had a sophisticated bouquet displaying hints of strawberry compose, black raspberries, expresso, soft herbs, minerals, and fresh forest floor. The wine had a seductive mouth feel and painted the palate with complex layers of fruit and earth. The finish of this wine was long lasting and balanced giving off notes of sous bois, dark wild berries, toasted oak and exotic spices. This was an amazing wine that captivated your attention and continued to develop in the glass; thus, over time it blossoming into a richer and more powerfully expressive wine. Highly Recommended!   


Tasted:  November 2015

2006 Silverado Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

image35

2006 Silverado Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc   


I decanted this bottle of wine to find it had a beautiful deep purple color. The wine had an expressive bouquet with fresh aromas of cassis fruit, wild black berries, chocolate, coffee, and oak. The wine was medium in body with rounded tannins that gave way to a nice finish displaying hints of dark berry fruits, sweet chocolate, and espresso. This wine has rich characteristics but seems to lack depth and complexity. Overall a nice bottle of wine for the price, but not a showstopper!     


Tasted:  November 2015

2004 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia

image36

2004 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia 


Location: Italy 


Blend: 100% Sangiovese 


I decanted this bottle of wine to find it had a nice dark ruby color. The wine had a beautiful bouquet boasting hints of plum, black cherry, currants, cedar, herbs, and minerals. This wine was medium in body with silky smooth tannins that led to a long finish coating the palate with notes of ripe plum, blackcurrants, cassis liqueur, toasted tobacco leaves, and earthy minerals. The wine was impressive with depth, balance, and sophistication. This wine is in its plateau of maturity and drinking wonderfully right now. I don’t see this one evolving much more, but is in a great spot right now. This is a great value, and as such Highly Recommended! 


Tasted:  November 2015   

2002 Grgich Hills Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

image37

2002 Grgich Hills Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon    


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc   


I found this in the cellar and decided I was up for a glass; thus, I decanted it to find it had a nice dark garnet color. The wine was giving off a beautiful bouquet of red cherries, red currants, blackberries, oak, and a touch of dusty earth. The wine was medium + in body with gentle tannins that painted the palate with hints of red and black cherry, cassis fruit, currants, oak, and powdered earth. This wine has good structure and balance with complex layers of fruit that give the wine depth and sophistication. The wine is in its plateau of maturity and should be enjoyed now, as I don’t see it evolving and getting any better. Recommended!  


Tasted:  November 2015

2006 Carlisle Russian River Valley Syrah

image38

2006 Carlisle Russian River Valley Syrah    


Location: Santa Rosa, California 


Blend: 100% Syrah   


This beautiful deep dark opaque purple wine with ruby hues was enjoyed with a good friend! The wine had a fruit forward bouquet with aromas of black cherry, blackberries, cassis fruit, plum, toasted herbs, and white pepper. The wine was full bodied with smooth silky tannins that gave way to a long lushes finish coating the palate with hints of crème de cassis, sweet plum, blackberries, black raspberries, spice, and smoked herbs. The wine is complex with layers of fruit and concentrated smoked herbs and spices. This wine is bold yet restrained and polished displaying sophistication and elegance. This wine is drinking quite youthful and is showing no signs of decline; however, is in its plateau of maturity. Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  November 2015

2005 Ghost Block "Oakville Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon

image39

2005 Ghost Block "Oakville Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon 


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon   


While indulging in a beautiful lunch my good friend pulled this bottle from his cellar for us to enjoy. The wine had a deep dark red color with purple hues. Wafting from the glass was a plethora of aromas with hints of cassis fruit, blackberries, ripe black cherries, fig, toasted oak, and holiday spices. The wine was medium + in body with rounded tannins and a long finish displaying notes of blackberries, licorice, currants, fig, chocolate, spice, and a touch of earth. The wine has a nice complexity with layers of fruit flavors that intermix and harmonize well together. This wine is concentrated yet sophisticated and continued to open-up like facets of brilliance at every visit. This wine is in its plateau of maturity and drinking wonderfully right now. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  October 2015     

2006 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley

image40

2006 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley    


Location: Alexander Valley, California 


Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon   


A great friend of mine had us over for lunch and decanted this bottle of wine a little over an hour before we approached it. The wine had a nice dark garnet color with an intriguing bouquet of cherries, red currants, plum, tobacco, oak, and herbs. The wine was medium in body with integrated tannins that gave way to a long finish displaying hints of ripe cherries, raspberries, chocolate, spice and earthy herbs. The wine is sophisticated with balance and layers of complex flavors that blend together and complement one another. This wine has a rustic old world character that makes it extremely food friendly. Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  October 2015

1999 Greenock Creek Vineyard & Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon

image41

1999 Greenock Creek Vineyard & Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon     


Location: Barossa Valley, Australia 


Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon   


I decanted this bottle of wine to find it had a deep dark reddish purple color. The wine was giving off a fruity bouquet with aromas of blackberry jam, blueberries, cassis liquor, eucalyptus, soft spice, and a hint of earthiness. The wine was medium ++ in body with present but dissipating tannins that complimented a luxurious palate of dark wild berries, chocolate, herbs, and dusty earth. The wine is complex with layers of dark fruits intermixing with herbs and earth, displays balance and sophistication with a boldness of rich dark fruits that harmonize with its earthiness. The wine seems to be holding onto its youth, but is in its plateau of maturity. Highly Recommended!    


Tasted:  October 2015

2004 Château Calon-Ségur

image42

2004 Château Calon-Ségur 


Classification: Third Growth in 1855 


Location: St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France 


Blend: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot   


We enjoyed this bottle of wine at an event focused on French wines. The wine had a nice deep garnet color with light ruby hues. The wine had a classic old world bouquet displaying aromas of cherry, currants, tobacco, leafy herbs, and soft minerals. The wine was medium in body with round tannins and a palate giving off hints of plum, black cherries, black currants, cigar leafs, spice, and wet earth. The wine is balanced with fruit and earth qualities that were focused but lacked complexity. This is a nice elegant bottle of wine that needs to be enjoyed with food. The wine was classic old world Bordeaux with a lovely rustic style of pronounced earthiness. I am a big fan of Calon-Ségur, but this vintage was defiantly not their best! Recommended!  


Tasted:  October 2015  

2012 Ecluse Ensemble

image43

2012 Ecluse Ensemble 


Location: Paso Robles, California 


Blend: 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Petit Verdot, 27% Merlot, 3% Malbec   


This wine was enjoyed in a side by side comparison against a 2010 Chateau Haut Bergey. These two wines may be comprised of similar grape varieties, but it was like comparing an apple to an orange. They are both completely unique and so different, that they should equally be enjoyed for different reasons. The 2012 Ecluse Ensemble had a tantalizing bouquet of rich dark cherries, currants, oak, toasted spice, and licorice. The wine was medium in body with structured tannins that gave way to a luxurious finish displaying hints of currants, cassis fruit, black raspberries, chocolate, dusty earth, and holiday spices. The wine is complex with elegant layers of fruit and dusty earth, which give this wine a harmonious balance. This is a fantastic wine that should continue to evolve and get better with time for those that are patient. Highly Recommended!    


Tasted:  October:  2015

2012 Ecluse Rendition

image44

2012 Ecluse Rendition


Location: Paso Robles, California 


Blend: 40% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 30% Mourvedre   


In a side by side comparison we drank this wine next to a 2011 Domaine Chante Cigale Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Both wines were wonderful; however, the 2012 Ecluse Rendition was more fruit forward with a luscious bouquet of mixed red berry fruits, spice, and earthy minerals. This wine was medium in body with rounded tannins that gave way to a complex palate displaying hints of blackberries, plum, black raspberries, dusty herbs, and minerals. The wine is beautifully balanced, elegant, and sophisticated with a more pronounced fruity palate than the French wine. This wine is extremely approachable and drinking great right now, but should continue to evolve for a few more years. Highly Recommended!      


Tasted:  October 2015

2009 Marchesi Gondi Chianti Rùfina Riserva Villa Bossi

image45

2009 Marchesi Gondi Chianti Rùfina Riserva Villa Bossi  


Location: Italy 


Blend: 80% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Colorino   


A good friend decanted this bottle of wine about an hour before we indulged. The wine had a lovely old world bouquet with a nose of dark cherries, wild berries, leather, minerals, and smoke. The wine was medium in body with structured tannins that gave way to a nice long finish displaying hints of cherries, black raspberries, black olives, herbs, and minerals. The wine was nicely balanced with a complex palate of fruit and earth. The wine is still drinking quite youthful and should continue to evolve nicely for those with the patience to cellar it. Recommended!    


Tasted:  October 2015

2000 Pio Cesare Barbaresco Il Bricco

image46

2000 Pio Cesare Barbaresco Il Bricco     


Location: Piedmont, Italy 


Blend: 100% Nebbiolo   


We decanted this bottle of wine to find it had a beautiful red color showing some age with light browning seen to the edge of the glass. The wine had a delicate bouquet with aromas of fresh cut flowers, sweet plum, coffee, oak, and dried earth. The wine was medium in body with soft tannins that dissipated and gave way to an expressive finish showing hints of licorice, mocha, tobacco, soft dark fruits, spice, and earth dusted herbs. This wine was complex with layers of rich supple dark fruit blended with bold earth tones. This is a spectacular example of aged Barbaresco, as it drank wonderfully with our lunch. These wines are extremely food friendly and tent to have an earthy charm to them. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  October 2015  

2010 Edge Hill Abel 1833 Cabernet Sauvignon

image47

2010 Edge Hill Abel 1833 Cabernet Sauvignon    


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon   


This deep dark opaque purple wine was forwardly expressive with a concentrated bouquet of blackberries, cassis fruit, currents, smoldering wet herbs, smoky oak, exotic spices, and dusty earth. The wine was full bodied with a wonderfully dusty palate giving off hints of red currents, blackberries, blueberries, plum, licorice, herbs, and soft minerals. This brilliantly powerful wine is poised with balance and structure that adds to its complexity. The exotic fleshy fruit of this cab harmonized nicely with its dusty terroir notes and is quite exquisite. This is an unbelievably wonderfully crafted wine that has a brilliantly structure tannic backbone, enabling this wine to continue evolving for another 15 years. The wine is drinking phenomenally great right now but should only get better with some time. Highly Recommended!    


Tasted:  October 2015

1999 Chateau Bahans Haut-Brion

image48

1999 Chateau Bahans Haut-Brion    


Location: Pessac, Bordeaux, France 


Blend: 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc   


This is the Second Wine of Chateau Haut Brion ( First Growth in 1855 Classification ) and I have been using my Coravin ( www.coravin.com ) to have a glass of this wine ( from a magnum bottle ) from time to time over the past 1 ½ years. The other day my older boy ( whom is in Law School ) came in and asked to enjoy a glass of wine with me; thus, I pulled the cork on what was left in this bottle. We decanted the balance of this bottle to find it had a deep dark purple color with hues of light red at the rim of the glass. The wine had a soft but lush bouquet of black cherries, currents, olives, blackberry liquor, oak, and earthy minerals. The wine was medium + in body with a silky smooth palate displaying hints of black cherry, plum, and sweet velvety terroir notes. This wine was wonderfully balanced and elegant; thus, expressive yet subtle. The wine is in its plateau of maturity and in a nice place right now, but I don’t see this wine improving anymore with additional aging. It was fun to drink something special with my son, as he would have only been 8 years of age when this wine was made. Recommended!  


Tasted:  September 2015

1990 Château de Cruzeau

image49

1990 Château de Cruzeau   


Location: St. Medard d’Eyrans, Bordeaux, France 


Blend: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot   


This ruby color wine had hints of age with a light touch of color fade against the rim of the glass. The wine had a complex bouquet with aromas of red cherries, fruit drop, coffee, leather, spice, and pine sap. The wine was medium in body with a silky smooth finish displaying a layered palette of fading red fruits blended with coffee and soft earth. The wine seemed a bit tired but was enjoyable none the less. It is always fun to enjoy a nice bottle of aged Bordeaux. This wine had a wonderful bouquet that unfortunately did not display as well on the palette.    


Tasted:  September 2015

2001 Silverado Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

image50

2001 Silverado Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon     


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot   


I decanted this bottle of wine to find it had a nice deep dark red color. The wine had a stunning bouquet with aromas of black cherries, currants, chocolate, and smoky espresso. The wine was medium + in body with silky seductive tannins that gave way to hints of crushed black cherries, cassis fruit, mocha, vanilla, and soft spice. This wine is drinking spectacular right now and is in its plateau of maturity. The wine is complex with layers of dark fruit in harmony with smoky herbs and spice. This wine has a nice richness with a full but smooth mouth feel. Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  September 2015

2003 Carlisle Bennett Valley Syrah

image51

2003 Carlisle Bennett Valley Syrah     


Location: Sonoma County, California 


Blend: 100% Syrah   


We took this bottle of wine to a wine event to enjoy with some friends. The wine was opaque purple with an intense bouquet of blueberries, black raspberries, plum, and white pepper. The wine was full bodied with integrated tannins that led to a long finish with hints of ripe plum, black raspberries, mocha, licorice, and smoke. The wine is complex with layers of jammy fruit and soft spices, and is still drinking quite youthful. This wine is in its plateau of maturity, and should soften over the next few years for those that have the patience. Highly Recommended!     


Tasted:  September 2015

1987 Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse De Lalande

image52

1987 Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse De Lalande     


Classification: Second Growth in 1855 


Location: Pauillac, Bordeaux, France 


Blend: 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 8% Petit Verdot   


I decanted this bottle of wine to enjoy with my son on a lazy evening. The wine had a nice ruby / garnet color and was displaying a bouquet of dried dark cherries, cassis fruit, sandalwood, tobacco, and soft earth. The wine was medium in body with dissipating velvety tannins that gave way to a graceful finish with hints of blackberry, earthy minerals, and a touch of sweet at the end. This wine is still drinking quite nice but is beginning to shed its fruit; thus, appears to be in the beginning stages of decline. This wine was a great effort for a difficult vintage. Drink Now – Don’t Wait!     


Tasted:  September 2015

2006 L'Ecole No. 41 Perigee Seven Hills Vineyard

image53

2006 L'Ecole No. 41 Perigee Seven Hills Vineyard     


Location: Walla Walla Valley, Washington 


Blend: 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc   


I have found some great wines from Washington that drink like they cost north of $100.00 but are actually under $40.00 a bottle. This Walla Walla Valley Bordeaux style blend fits that description perfectly. I took this bottle of wine to a wine event where everyone brought a bottle of wine to share. This bottle of wine had a deep dark purple color with hues of red. The wine had a lush bouquet with notes of black currants, blackberries, cassis liqueur, mocha, graphite, and earthy minerals. The wine was full bodied with smooth but present tannins that gave way to a nice long finish displaying hints of complex dark fruits, plum, coffee, backing chocolate, spice, and dusty earth. This wine is expressively complex with concentrated dark fruits and earth flavors. The wine is harmoniously balanced and drinking wonderfully right now; however, this bottle of wine could easily be cellared for another 10 years. This is a great representation of the compelling wines being made in Washington. Highly Recommended!       


Tasted:  September 2015

2008 Keating Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard

image54

2008 Keating Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard    


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon   


A good friend had invited me over for lunch and had decanted this bottle of wine before I arrived. The wine had a nice dark purple color with hues of deep red. The bouquet of this wine was fruit forward with expressions of plum, black cherries, cassis fruit, tobacco, and soft spice. The wine was medium + in body with supple tannins that gave way to velvety notes of cherries, currants, black licorice, herbs, and a hint of cedar. The wine was wonderfully balanced with complex layers of fruit and earthy minerals. The wine is drinking great right now but should continue to develop for those wanted to cellar this beauty. This wine is impressive for its price point; thus, Highly Recommended! 


Tasted:  September 2015

2005 Jones Family Vineyards The Sisters

image55

2005 Jones Family Vineyards The Sisters     


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: Red Blend   


We decanted this bottle of wine to find it had a nice deep dark purple red color. The bouquet was concentrated with aromas of black currents, blackberries, vanilla, and soft earth. The wine was medium ++ in body with silky tannins and a long finish with hints of blackberry liquor, currents, chocolate, and minerals. The wine is a little tight at first but opens up quickly, and becomes a complex wine with good depth and balance. The wine is now in its plateau of maturity, and has the potential to continue cellaring for several more years. This is a great bottle of wine for its price point. Highly Recommended!   


Tasted:  August 2015  

2007 Cliff Lede Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon

image56

2007 Cliff Lede Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon 


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc   


This lush purple red wine had a beautiful bouquet of currants, cassis fruit, spiced mocha, minerals and oak. The wine was medium ++ in body with elegantly balanced tannins that gave way to a velvety finish displaying hints of red & black berry fruits, led pencil, nuts, exotic spice, and earthy oak. This wine is well balanced with depth and complexity and is boldly elegant. The wine is drinking quite nice right now, but will continue to develop over the years for those with patience. This is a great bottle of wine for its price point! Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  August 2015  

2003 Rubicon Estate "Cask" Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

image57

2003 Rubicon Estate "Cask" Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon  


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon   


Francis F. Coppola has restored the old Inglenook Estate, so if you are looking for this wine you will need to go to Inglenook. The wine had a nice deep purple red color and was decanted about 30 minutes before we approached it. The wine had a mature but elegant bouquet displaying dark fruit aromas of black currants, plum, cassis fruit, cocoa, tobacco, and toasted oak. The wine was velvety smooth with sweet tannins that gave way to a polished finish with hints of black fruit, licorice, chocolate, and an underlining earthiness. The wine is drinking beautifully right now and is in its plateau of maturity. There is a nice balance of fruit and earth in this wine. Highly Recommended!   


Tasted:  August 2015

1986 Hess Collection Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

image58

1986 Hess Collection Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon   


I decanted this bottle of wine to share with a good friend whom stopped by for a visit. Knowing he enjoys a well cellared bottle of wine I looked for something special with a little age on it. As we decanted this bottle of wine we could smell the rich ripe aromas wafting up displaying notes of black currants, fruit drop, truffles, and earthy wet asphalt. The wine was medium + in body with soft velvety tannins that gave way to a long soft finish with hints of red and dark berry fruit, caramelized vanilla, truffles, and dusty earth. The wine was complex with layers of aromas and flavors. This wine is nearing the end of it plateau of maturity and should be consumed; however, is still drinking quite nice and is a special bottle of wine. Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  August 2015

2011 The Hilt “the vanguard” Pinot Noir

image59

2011 The Hilt “the vanguard” Pinot Noir


Location: Santa Barbara County, California 


Blend: 100% Pinot Noir   


I was excited to try this Pinot Noir as it is the sister winery to Jonata Winery, whom is the sister winery of Screaming Eagle. Thus, the pedigree of The Hilt can’t be denied. I decanted this bottle of wine to find it had a rich garnet color and a floral bouquet giving off lush aromas of black cherries, red currants, strawberries, tobacco, and soft spice. The wine was medium in body with a complex and well-structured finish displaying hints of black raspberries, cranberries, currants, and earthy cigar tobacco. This wine is drinking brilliant right now and is in its plateau of maturity. Highly Recommended!    


Tasted:  August 2015

2004 Quintessa Rutherford Proprietary Red

image60

2004 Quintessa Rutherford Proprietary Red  


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot   


I enjoyed this bottle of wine with a good friend, and found it had a beautiful deep dark purple red color. The wine was intense with a wonderful bouquet displaying notes of cassis fruit, cherries, wild berries, oak, and a nice minerality. The wine was medium + in body with integrated tannins that gave way to a complex palate of lush fleshy fruit, rich wild berries, and integrated earthy minerals. The wine had concentrated layers that were bold yet harmoniously elegant. This wine is drinking spectacularly right now and is in its plateau of maturity. Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  August 2015

2005 Winter Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

image61

2005 Winter Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 


 Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon   


This winery was started by Bob & Tamara Winter whom had their first vintage produced in 2004. The Winter family hired Helen Mowson of Hundred Acre to be their winemaker, and in doing so the wines have received outstanding scores from the critics. Tamara Winter sold this property in 2012, shortly after her husband had passed away. This bottle was enjoyed with a good friend whom pulled it from his cellar for us to enjoy and had decanted it about 40 minutes before we approached it. The wine had a deep dark purple reddish color and a fragrant bouquet displaying lushes aromas of plum, black currants, pencil shavings, earthy minerals, and soft exotic spices. The wine was medium in body with ever present tannins that blended perfectly and balanced nicely; thus, the wine was complex and elegant giving off hints of fresh tart cherries, currants, wild berries, minerals, and fresh herbs. The wine is still drinking quite youthful and appears to show no signs of declining anytime soon. This is a wonderfully crafted bottle of wine that does not disappoint. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  July 2015

2005 Bond Matriarch

image62

2005 Bond Matriarch 


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon   


We decanted this bottle of wine to find it had a deep ruby purple color. The wine was expressive with a lovely bouquet that displayed notes of black currants, black cherries, licorice, smoky spices, and soft minerals. The wine was medium in body with rounded tannins that gave way to a long finish with hints of plum, wild berries, creamy expresso, vanilla, and exotic herbs. This wine was complex with layers of dark fruits and earthy minerals that harmonized perfectly leaving you with a delicious wine. We indulged in this bottle of wine over a nice steak, and found they complimented one another quite nicely. This is a wine that is in that window of optimal drinkability; however, this wine should remain in its plateau of maturity for several more years. Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  July 2015

2004 Bodegas LAN Rioja Edición Limitada

image63

2004 Bodegas LAN Rioja Edición Limitada


Location: Spain 


Blend: Tempranillo   


A good friend of mine was in town from Spain and had brought over three bottles of wines to enjoy; thus, I found something special from my cellar to complement the wines he had carried all the way from Spain. This bottle of wine was in the Top 100 Wines of the 2007 list by Wine Spectator, and was number 18 on that list. We decanted this bottle of wine to find it had a deep dark opaque ruby color. The wine had an expressive bouquet with aromas of black cherries, cassis fruit, plum, espresso, and light burnt oak. The wine was medium ++ in body with smooth tannins that balanced harmoniously with hints of black currants, cassis liquor, wild berries, leafy tobacco, and a touch of unsweetened chocolate at the back end. This wine was wonderfully complex with concentrated fruit qualities that integrated perfectly with soft notes of terroir. This wine is drinking spectacular right now and is in its plateau of maturity. Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  July 2015

2002 Robert Keenan Winery Mernet Reserve

image64

2002 Robert Keenan Winery Mernet Reserve


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: 50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon   


I enjoyed this bottle of wine on the 4th of July with my son, and it did not disappoint. The wine had a beautiful dark purple red color with no signs of ageing. Aromas wafted from the glass displaying a lush bouquet of cassis fruit, plum, black cherry, coffee, soft spice and leafy tobacco. The wine was medium ++ in body with velvety tannins that gave way to a complex palate with hints of cassis liquor, plum, espresso, licorice, and bitter chocolate. The wine was elegant yet had great depth and concentration, bringing out layers of complex dark fruits and soft nuances of earth. The wine was drinking spectacularly and is in its plateau of maturity; however, this wine was drinking quite youthful and should be able to be cellared for another 8 to 10 years. Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  July 2015

1999 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle

image65

1999 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle 


Location: Rhone, France 


Blend: 100% Syrah   


This wonderful ruby red wine had a beautiful elegant bouquet with seductive aromas of black currants, blackberries, black cherries, violets, truffles, mocha, and earthy tobacco. The wine was medium in body with polished tannins that integrated harmoniously with a lush palate displaying hints of black cassis fruit, black currants, chocolate, cigar tobacco, and earthy minerals. The wine is complex with layers of dark fruit and earth tones. This is an impressive bottle of wine that is sophisticated and drinking great right now; thus, the wine is in its plateau of maturity. Highly Recommended!     


Tasted:  July 2015

2003 Bond Matriarch

image66

2003 Bond Matriarch    


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon   


It has been referred to as the second label of BOND, as the grapes are selected from all of the vineyards used in the BOND program. This rich and opulent wine displayed a lush bouquet of black cherries, blackberries, toasted herbs, creamy chocolate, and a touch of cedar. The wine was medium + in body with a concentrated palate displaying hints of cherries, blackberries, cassis liquor, dark chocolate, powdered earth and a spicy tannic finish. The wine carried depth and was complex, yet it needs time to breathe for about an hour or so before approaching. On first approach I found the back end of this wine to be a little sharp; however, when approached several hours later the tannins had dissipated. This wine appears to be drinking quite nice right now, but should be given time to open up. The wine appears to have enough structure to continue cellaring for several more years. The pedigree of this wine comes from Harlan Estates, and they are producing some of the best and most expensive wines in the Napa Valley. Highly Recommended! 


Tasted:  June 2015   

2006 Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District

image67

2006 Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District  


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot   


We enjoyed this beautiful bottle of wine when out at dinner, and found it had a deep dark purple red color. The wine had a sweet fruit forward bouquet displaying aromas of blackberry, cassis fruit, licorice, dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, and soft herbs. The wine was medium + in body with integrated tannins that blended harmoniously on the palate with hints of ripe wild berries, mocha, dusty powder of earth, soft spice, and toasted herbs. The wine was powerful and concentrated, yet elegant with depth and complexity. This was a wonderful bottle of wine that is in its plateau of maturity and drinking quite nice right now. The wine had good structure and should continue to evolve nicely over the next 5 years or so. Recommended!      


Tasted:  June 2015

2005 Pahlmeyer Jayson

image68

2005 Pahlmeyer Jayson   


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: 73% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 1.5% Petit Verdot, .5% Malbec   


I decanted this bottle of wine to find it had a dense dark purple red color. The wine had a balanced bouquet with aromas of black cherries, cassis fruit, coffee, tar, herbs, and minerals. On the palate this wine had a robust tannin structure and concentrated flavors of ripe blackberries, plum, creamy cassis fruit, mocha, tobacco, and other earthy minerals. The wine appears to be vibrant and youthful with a tannic backbone; thus, I would give this another year or so. The critics said to drink this by 2012, but I would have to disagree as the wine is holding onto its fruit and needs time for its aggressive tannin structure to dissipate. I think when this wine finds its plateau of maturity it will be the ugly duckling that grows into the beautiful swan. Recommended!     


Tasted:  June 2015

1994 Dunn Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

image69

1994 Dunn Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon  


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon   


This beautifully aged California cabernet sauvignon had an opaque reddish purple color. The wine was expressive with a lush bouquet of black cherries, currants, cassis liquor, plum, and soft earth tones. The wine was medium ++ in body with chewy tannins that were well integrated and gave way to hints of black currants, crème de cassis, sweet plum, and soft dusty earth. This wine was perfectly balanced and displayed layers of complexity and depth. The wine is intensely rich with great character and is quite impressive. This wine is in its plateau of maturity and drinking brilliantly; thus, I would not cellar this too much longer as it is in a premium drinking spot right now. This is a beautiful example of well-aged California cabernet sauvignon. Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  June 2015

2006 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon

image70

2006 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 


Location: Alexander Valley, California 


Blend: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19.5% Merlot, 4.5% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec      


At Jordan last week we took the Library Tour and enjoyed their 2013 Chardonnay and three (2006, 2008, & 2011) of their Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a tour I would Highly Recommend to anyone that enjoys small verticals. All of the wine was wonderfully delicious and pared with food to enjoy; however, the 2006 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon was my favorite. The wine had a dense red color and a bouquet that captivated your attention with lush blackberries, cassis fruit, black cherry, vanilla, soft herbs and minerals. The wine was medium ++ in body with polished tannins that gave way to an expressive velvety finish displaying hints of cassis fruit, wild berries, toasted cedar, earthy minerals and a touch of honey suckle. The wine was complex and sophisticated with beautiful layers of dark fruit and soft savory minerals. This wine is showing spectacularly right now but seems to be holding onto its youth; thus, this wines maturity window should last another 5 to 8 years effortlessly. Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  June 2015

2012 Brooks Note Weir Vineyard Pinot Noir

image71

2012 Brooks Note Weir Vineyard Pinot Noir   


Location: Sonoma Valley, California 


Blend: 100% Pinot Noir   


Mr. Gary Brooks is producing some stunning Pinot Noir, and this one did not disappoint. Mr. Brooks has been involved in wine making at prestigious wineries such as Ravenswood and Kosta Browne, but has now ventured out on his own after the long process of acquiring property to grow his grapes. There are three pinot noir clones used and blended together to make this fine bottle of wine, and Mr. Brooks indulged us in some barrel sample of each. The wine in this bottle had a beautiful soft red color. This wine was seductively intriguing with a lush bouquet displaying aromas of cranberry, raspberry, minerals, fresh herbs, and other wild berries. The wine was medium in body with well integrated tannins that gave way to a lovely finish giving off hints of freshly cut herbs blended with black raspberries, blackberries, and a soft earthiness. The wine is complex with layers of fruit and minerals that harmoniously blend together to create a sophisticatedly pleasing wine. This wine is drinking beautifully right now; however, for those willing to cellar it for another 3 to 8 years should find it blossoming nicely. Only 150 cases of this were produced! Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  June 2015

2012 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon

image72

2012 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon  


Location: Napa Valley 


Blend: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 2% Cab Franc, 2% Petit Verdot   


This wine had a deep dark purple red color. The wine had a fresh bouquet exhibiting aromas of cassis fruit, black cherries, licorice, chocolate, and earthy minerals. The wine was medium to full in body with integrated tannins that gave way to a long finish giving hints of wild berries, espresso, dark chocolate, and warm spiced herbs. The wine is layered with complex flavors that intertwine and balance harmoniously. This wine is drinking nice right now and should last another 8 years or so; thus, if you are looking for a fruit forward designed California cab then this is one to try. Recommended!     


Tasted:  May 2015

2003 Quintessa Rutherford Proprietary Red

image73

2003 Quintessa Rutherford Proprietary Red   


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: Red Bordeaux Blend   


California is producing some fantastic blends of various red grapes, and in my opinion Quintessa is one of the most successful Bordeaux blends being made outside of France. This Bordeaux style wine had a powerful bouquet with luscious aromas of blackberry, cassis fruit, plum, coffee, and new oak. The wine was medium to full bodied, and having decanted the wine about an hour before approaching the tannins were rounded and well integrated. The wine was complex and bold, yet velvety soft with a blanketing affect giving off hints of black cherry, black currants, vanilla, crème brûlée, toasted oak and exotic spices. This wine is elegantly refined while being brilliantly powerful and beautifully balanced. The wine is drinking quite youthful and showing no signs of declining anytime soon. The wine seems to have just approached its window of maturity; however, this sleeper could continue cellaring and developing for 5 to 8 more years almost effortlessly. Highly Recommended! 


Tasted:  May 2015   

1997 Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cépages Cabernet Sauvignon

image74

  1997 Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cépages Cabernet Sauvignon  


  Location: Sonoma County, California 


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


I got together with a dear friend of mine to enjoy a late (better late than never) birthday celebration, by eating some good food and enjoying some great California wine. We started the day by indulging in this bottle of wine first; only to find it had a deep dark red color. This wine was giving off lush full layered aromas of cassis fruit, cherry liqueur, tobacco, oak, and toasted herbs. The wine was medium ++ in body with seductively soft tannins that led to a fleshy finish with hints of cherry jam, currants, mocha, burnt sugar, and earthy minerals. This wine was complex with the fruit being blanketed by a velvety dusty earthiness. This wine was still quite youthful in appearance and taste; yet, the wine is in its plateau of maturity and drinking spectacularly right now. Highly Recommended!   


Tasted:  May 2015

2001 Il Poggione (Proprietá Franceschi) Brunello di Montalcino

image75

  2001 Il Poggione (Proprietá Franceschi) Brunello di Montalcino   


  Location: Italy 


Blend: 100% Sangiovese   


This old world wine was dark red with a touch of brown at the rim. The wine had a bouquet of cherries, tobacco, leather, rose water, cedar, and earthy tar. The wine was medium in body with rounded tannins that gave way to a lengthy finish displaying hints of dried cherry, licorice, minerals, and tar. The wine seems to be in its decline and should be consumed now! This wine is unfortunately showing a bit tired and did not hold up to my expectations for a wine in its price range.  


Tasted:  May 2015

2011 Cowboy Canyon Winery Pardners

image76

 2011 Cowboy Canyon Winery Pardners    


  Location: Silverado Canyon, California 


Blend: 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc   


This joint venture between the Kearns Family and Cipolla Family blossomed from a love of wine and a great friendship. The Kearns Family is renowned for their Giracci Vineyards and Farm Estate with beautiful grounds and breathtaking views, and the only thing better is the wine found on the property. When you visit this property you will also find them serving Cowboy Canyon Winery, and having the two wineries on the property makes for a great day of wine tasting. This single vineyard meritage sourced its grapes from the Sonoma Valley, and allowed the wine to develop in French oak for thirty months. This wine had a nice deep reddish purple color. The wine had an alluring bouquet with notes of black cherry, light fig, quince fruit, truffle, herbs, and a soft hint of hazelnut. The wine is medium ++ in body with silky smooth tannins that give way to a long lasting finish displaying hints of cherry, cassis fruit, mocha, tobacco, and soft herbs. The wine has a typical decadent California red wine bouquet; however, on the palate this wine is more “old world” with a sophistication that goes well with food. Thus, this wine would go brilliantly with food and balance accordingly. It is always nice when two families come together and achieve something spectacular. Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  May 2015

2011 Giracci Vineyards and Farms Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

image77

  2011 Giracci Vineyards and Farms Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon     


  Location: Silverado Canyon, California 


Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon   


This wine was shared with me by a good friend when I was in California over Mother’s Day weekend. Giracci Vineyards and Farms grow their own grapes; however, the grapes used to make this wine were sourced from the Napa Valley. I re-approached this wine the following day after we had opened it, in order to take some tasting notes. The wine had a deep dark reddish purple color. This wine was giving off a rich bouquet that had notes of black cherry, blackberry, vanilla, crème brulèe, leather, toasted oak and soft spice. The tannins had mellowed and the wine was drinking beautifully, giving off hints of wild berries, black cherries, burnt caramel, and soft spice. The wine was sophisticated and balanced leaving a lingering finish with a palate painted in lush dark fruits and smoky oaked spice. This wine is drinking great right now, but should continue to evolve nicely over the next few years. Highly Recommended!         


Tasted:  May 2015

2003 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape

image78

  2003 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape   


  Location: Southern Rhone, France 


Blend: Red Rhone Blend   


This beautiful red beauty had a seductive floral bouquet displaying hints of vanilla, raspberries, red licorice, mocha, exotic spices, and a touch of barnyard. The wine is full bodied with silky smooth tannins that give way to a layered palate with notes of boysenberry, raspberry, sour cherry, strawberry, tobacco, chocolate, herbs, and minerals. The wine was as elegant and graceful, as it was lavishly complex and brilliantly balanced. This alluring wine is seductively powerful while maintaining its sophistication. This is a wonderful bottle of wine that is just now approaching its plateau of maturity, and should continue to drink well over the next 8 to 10 years. Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  April 2015

2001 Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon Lone Canyon Vineyard

image79

  2001 Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon Lone Canyon Vineyard    


  Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon   


This estate is one of my favorite in the western hills of Napa Valley. The Lone Canyon Vineyard produces rich plush wines from the mountain and they have become some of my favorite from this winery; thus, I was sad to hear that they had sold this vineyard. It is my understanding that Mr. William Harlan of Harlan Estates had purchased this vineyard and is now producing a wine from this vineyard called Promontory. The 2001 vintage had a deep dark purple red color. This wine was displaying an expressive bouquet with hints of plum, black currants, leather, cassis fruit, and soft oak. This wine was full bodied with silky smooth tannins that gave way to a brilliantly balanced finish with a core of blue and black fruits, chocolate, and toasted oak. The wine was sophisticatedly complex with depth and balance. This is a spectacular example of the type of wine being produced from this vineyard. Highly Recommended!   


Tasted:  April 2015

2006 Pax Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard

image80

  2006 Pax Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard     


  Location: California, Mendocino County 


Blend: 97% Syrah, 3% Viognier   


This beautiful wine was shared with some friends and enjoyed! The wine was opaque with a deep dark inky purple color. Wafting from my glass was a bouquet of blueberries, cassis fruit, blackberries, dried herbs, and soft smoky oak. The wine was full bodied with silky tannins that gave way to a luxurious polished finish displaying notes of lush layered black fruits, blackberry liqueur, cassis fruit, herbs, and soft minerals. This concentrated wine opens up and brings forth a nice complexity that is balanced and sophisticated like that of an old world Rhone wine. The wine is in its plateau of maturity and drinking spectacular right now. Highly Recommended!   


Tasted:  April 2015

1999 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste

image81

  1999 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste     


  Classification: Fifth Growth in 1855 


Location: Pauillac, Bordeaux, France 


Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc   Knowing that the 1999 vintage was not a good year for Bordeaux and knowing that this wine got a rating under 90 points, left me with low expectations. However, after my first sip of this beauty I was shocked at how good the wine was. Either the cellaring process helped this wine improve, or the critics got it wrong! The wine had a dark purple red color with a lush bouquet displaying hits of black cherries, cassis fruit, burnt tobacco, and a touch of led pencil. The tannins were polished leaving this medium + wine with a luxurious finish giving off notes of sweet currants, other black fruits, soft baking spices, and an earthy hint of graphite. The wine was balanced with nice complexity and had a wonderful mouth feel. This may be an off vintage worth giving another look, as this wine has matured / developing spectacularly. A nice bottle of wine for the price point; thus, Highly Recommended!     


Tasted:  March 2015

2004 Château du Tertre

image82

  2004 Château du Tertre    


  Classification: Fifth Growth in 1855 


Location: Margaux, Bordeaux, France 


Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc   


This dark ruby purple wine was decanted about an hour before we approached it. The wine had a typical Margaux perfumed nose with hints of cherries, cassis fruit, cedar, tobacco, herbs, and an earthy forest floor. The wine was medium + in body with rounded tannins that gave way to an exotic finish displaying notes of sweet black cherries, red fruits, cedar, toasted herbs, and a soft mineral earthiness. The wine was concentrated with complex layers of fruit and earth. This wine is in its plateau of maturity and is extremely food friendly. Recommended!    


Tasted:  March 2015

2011 Winter Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

image83

  2011 Winter Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon   


  Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon   


On a lazy Saturday while enjoying a nice steak lunch at a good friend’s home, we indulged in this spectacularly rare and hard to get California Cult Cab. This winery came into focus in December 2007 when Robert Parker published a review that compared this winery release to the inaugural releases of Harlan Estate and Screaming Eagle; thus, catapulting it into an instant Cult Cab status. This 2011 vintage was pulled from the cellar and decanted only to find it had a deep opaque purple color. We immediately approached the wine to find a brilliant bouquet with hints of blackberries, crushed blueberries, licorice, violets, cedar, and a hint of earthy minerals. The wine was full bodied with rich seductive tannins that led to a luxurious finish displaying notes of lush black fruits, currents, soft exotic spice, and subtle earth tones. The wine was complex with layers of textures and flavors that were enticingly delightful. This wine is drinking spectacularly right now but should continue evolving effortlessly over the next 10 years. Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  March 2015

1996 Pio Cesare Barbaresco Il Bricco

image84

 1996 Pio Cesare Barbaresco Il Bricco    


  Location: Piedmont, Italy 


Blend: 100% Nebbiolo   


I enjoyed this bottle of wine with a good friend whom stopped by for a visit. As we decanted the bottle we noticed the wine had a brackish red color with hues of orange at the rim. The wine had a lovely bouquet with notes of raspberries, cherries, violets, tar, oak, and other berry fruit aromas. The wine was medium in body with soft rounded tannins that gave way to a long silky soft finish with hints of cherry, raspberry, minerals, chocolate, and earthy wood. The wine is well balanced with good structure and complexity, displaying concentrated red fruit flavors blended with a soft earthiness. This is a wonderful example of aged nebbiolo, as it was drinking perfectly and in its plateau of maturity. Highly Recommended!      


Tasted:  March 2015

2005 Lagier Meredith Syrah

image85

  2005 Lagier Meredith Syrah     


  Location: Mount Veeder, Napa Valley, California 


Blend: 100% Syrah   


I enjoyed this beautiful Syrah with a good friend whom also has a passion for great wine. We decanted this inky dark ruby purple wine and waited about 30 minutes before approaching it. The wine had a lovely bouquet with rich aromas of black raspberries, blueberries, wild berries, wood, spice, and an earthy freshly fired gun power scent. The wine was medium + in body with soft fleshy tannins that led to a brilliantly luxurious finish displaying notes of succulent blueberries, black raspberries, cinnamon, white pepper, and chalky minerals. The wine was elegantly balanced with good depth and complexity; thus, reminded me of both an Australian Syrah style and a French Rhone style. This wine seemed to encompass the best of both styles with its bold fruit and smooth polished elegance; it had a seductive blending of fruit forward and chalky earth. This is an outstanding bottle of wine that is in its plateau of maturity, but could continue cellaring for a few more years. Highly Recommended!  


Tasted:  February 2015

2003 Provenance Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard

image86

2003 Provenance Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon  


Some of the Cabernet Sauvignon in this bottle of wine comes from the historic To Kalon Vineyard in Oakville. This vineyard was originally planted in 1859, and the fruit produced here has been considered world class ever since the Paris World’s Fair in 1889. This bottle of wine was brought over by a good friend to enjoy on a lazy Saturday. We decanted this bottle of wine about 4o minutes before we indulged, only to find the wine had a beautiful floral bouquet of black cherries, supple plums, violets, spiced oak, graphite, and other minerals. The wine was medium in body with creamy jammy tannins that gave way to a brilliant finish showing notes of black cherries, black raspberries, red and black fruits, cedar, soft spice, and other earth tones. The wine was exquisitely balanced with layers of complexity that added to the depth and enjoyment of this wine. This was a wonderful example of aged California Cabernet Sauvignon, as it is in its plateau of maturity. The wine had a wonderful structure of ripe fruit that integrated with the dusty earthiness of this vibrant wine. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  February 2015

2000 Shafer Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

image87

2000 Shafer Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc & Merlot  


I decanted this bottle of wine about an hour before we tried it. The wine had a deep dark purple red color with aromas of black currants, black cherries, cocoa, cassis liquor, minerals, and dusty earth. The wine was medium + in body with smooth silky tannins that made way for a long luxurious finish displaying notes of toasted oak, licorice, dark berries, caramel, and a velvety texture of dusty earth. The wine was amazingly youthful with good balance, structure, and complexity. The wine is in its plateau of maturity, and appears to be in a great spot right now. This bottle of wine was enjoyed with a good friend over lunch and some laughs. We found this wine to be one of the stars out of the bottles we partook in that afternoon, as this wine was a perfect representation of fine aged Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2000 vintage in Napa was a difficult one that the winemaker at Shafer had obviously overcome, as this bottle of wine was spectacular. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  February 2015

2002 DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate

image88

2002 DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate


Location: Yakima Valley, Washington 


Blend: 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot  


This wine was enjoyed on Valentines’ Day with a lovely dinner that included beef wellington, roasted potatoes, and green beans with almonds. The wine had a deep dark red color with aromas that wafted from the glass giving off hints of cassis fruit, black plum, licorice, stewed blackberries, exotic spice, tar, and a touch of oak. The wine was full bodied with integrated tannins and a concentrated powerful finish leaving you with notes of caramelized blackberries, ripe cassis fruit, currents, spiced jam, and dusty earth. The wine is exotically exquisite with good balance between the decadent rich dark fruit and earthy undertones. This is a wine with layers of complexity that is in its plateau of maturity; however, could continue cellaring for another 10 years with little to no effort. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  February 2015

2009 Jean Marie Arnoux Vacqueyras

image89

2009 Jean Marie Arnoux Vacqueyras


Location: Rhone, France 


Blend: 70% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre  


The wine was decanted about an hour before we approached it. The bouquet was lush with aromas of raisons, licorice, fig, incense and blooming flowers. This deep ruby red wine was medium ++ in body with firm tannins that led to a dense finish displaying hints of black cherry liquor, fruit drop, fresh herbs, soft spice, and other red and black fruits. The wine is displaying great balance and power; thus, should continue to develop nicely over the next 5 to 8 years. This is a wonderful wine for its price point and extremely enjoyable. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  February 2015

2005 Kalleske Greenock Shiraz

image90

2005 Kalleske Greenock Shiraz


Location: Barossa Valley, Australia 


Blend: 100% Shiraz  


I decanted this bottle of wine to find it had a nice opaque purple color. The wine was robust with a full bouquet displaying aromas of blueberries, cassis fruit, pepper, smoky oak, coffee, and blackberry liqueur. The wine was full bodied with rounded tannins that gave way to a long luxurious finish showing hints of cassis jam, blackberries, black cherries, expresso, white pepper, and toasted oak. The wine is tremendously well balanced between dark fruits and an oaky earthiness. This complex wine has layers of dark fruit and sublime terroir notes. The wine is in its plateau of maturity, but should continue to evolve nicely for a few more years. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  February 2015

2001 Tenuta Guado al Tasso Bolgheri DOC Superiore

image91

2001 Tenuta Guado al Tasso Bolgheri DOC Superiore


Location: Italy 


Blend: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Syrah  


This is a wonderful wine from The Antinori Family that has been producing wine for over 600 years, as Giovanni di Piero Antinori entered the Winemakers’ Guild of the city of Florence back in 1385. Today the family matriarch is Marquis Piero Antinori, whom runs the family business with his three daughters. I decanted this bottle of wine to find it had a nice deep ruby red color. The wine had a brilliant bouquet with notes of black cherry, cassis fruit, cocoa powder, toasted oak, earth and minerals. The wine was medium + in body with soft tannins that led to a lingering finish displaying hints of cassis fruit, blueberry, coffee, dark chocolate, earthy minerals, and black cherries. The wine was complex with layers of earth and fruit. The wine needed a little time to open up, and when it did it was stunning. The wine is in its plateau of maturity, but still drinking quite youthful. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  February 2015

2005 Frog's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon

image92

2005 Frog's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlto  


I decanted this wine about 30 minutes before I approached it. The wine had a nice ruby red color and an expressive bouquet with notes of blackberries, currants, leather, cedar, and soft spices. The wine was medium in body with smooth tannins that led to a nice long finish displaying hints of black berries, black cherries, herbs, cedar, and pepper. The wine is complex yet balanced with the dark fruits being enveloped by soft cedar and earth. This wine continued to evolve in the glass and as it opened became elegantly expressive. This wine needs to be decanted and allowed to open-up before indulging. The wine is in its plateau of maturity and is a great value for the price point. Recommended!


Tasted:  January 2015

2004 Frank Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

image93

2004 Frank Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot  


I decanted this bottle of wine to find it had a nice deep dark red purple color. The bouquet was rich with aromas of blueberry jam, black currants, cassis fruit, oak, and a touch of tobacco. The wine was medium + in body with silky smooth tannins that gave way to hints of dark berry fruits, currants, prunes, and some soft spice and earth tones at the finish. The wine is complex with good balance and structure. The wine is just now starting to show a little age; thus, is in its plateau of maturity and drinking quite nice right now. Recommended!


Tasted:  January 2015

2005 Carlisle Dry Creek Valley Petite Sirah

image94

2005 Carlisle Dry Creek Valley Petite Sirah


Location: Santa Rosa, California 


Blend: 100% Petite Sirah  


A good friend indulged me with this wine for my birthday! As we decanted the wine you could see it had a dark opaque purple color. This dark ink like beauty had a rich bouquet with aromas of blackberries, cassis jam, blueberry, mulberry, spiced cedar, and tobacco all encompassed and surrounded by the sweet smell of molasses. The wine was full-bodied with integrated tannins that gave way to an expressive exotic finish with notes of concentrated dark wild berries, creamy blackberry jam, white pepper, and an ever present sweetness of Caribbean molasses. This wine drank spectacularly with complex layers of black fruits and earth always cloaked in molasses. The wine has the ability to be cellared for another 10 years effortlessly; however, is drinking wonderfully right now. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  January 2015

1998 Château Léoville Barton

image95

1998 Château Léoville Barton


Classification: Second Growth in 1855 


Location: Saint Julien, Bordeaux, France 


Blend: 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc  


While enjoying a nice day with a good friend celebrating my birthday we indulged in this classic Bordeaux wine. As we decanted the wine we saw it had a deep opaque purple ruby color. The wine displayed a lovely bouquet of black cherries, black currants, licorice, earth, tobacco, and spiced oak. The wine was medium in body with soft rounded tannins that led to a long finish showing hints of chewy cherries, cassis fruit, chocolate, soft minerals, and other black fruits. The wine was elegant and plush on the palate with intriguing depth and complexity. The wine is defiantly in its plateau of maturity; however, this wine could continue cellaring for another 10 years with no problem. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  January 2015

2002 Château Gruaud Larose

image96

2002 Château Gruaud Larose


Classification: Second Growth in 1855 


Location: Saint Julien, Bordeaux, France 


Blend: 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec  


We decanted this wine about an hour before we approached it, and found it had a nice dark purple red color. The wine was displaying an earthy dark fruit bouquet with notes of cassis fruit, black cherries, red wild berries, oak, mocha, herbs, and soft spice. The wine was medium + in body with firm rounded tannins that gave way to a long finish showing hints of dark and red berry fruits, liquorish, toasted oak, and earthy terroir. The wine is well balanced and showing good depth and power cloaked in elegance. This wine is in its plateau of maturity, and seems to be holding onto its youth. This wine may improve and gain from some additional cellaring for those that are patient. Recommended!


Tasted:  January 2015

2010 LaVelle Vineyards Northwest Duet

image97

2010 LaVelle Vineyards Northwest Duet


Location: Oregon & Washton 


Blend: 50% Pinot Noir, 50% Malbec  


New friends of ours brought over this bottle of wine to enjoy. The wine had a clear ruby red color with pink hues on the edge in the glass. The wine has a distinct Pinot Noir type of bouquet; however, the aromas are like a pinot noir on steroids. The wine displayed aromas of raspberry, cherry, smoke, caramel, sandalwood, and earthy tobacco. The wine was medium in body with sharp tannins that lead to notes of crushed red fruits, grapefruit, cocoa, and other interesting flavors. The wine appears to have quite the backbone and requires additional cellaring to enable the wine to develop and shed its sharp tannic structure. I can see this wine maturing in another 5 years or so and blossoming into something quite special; thus, be patient with this one.


Tasted:  December 2014

2012 DAOU Vineyards Estate Mayote

image98

2012 DAOU Vineyards Estate Mayote


Location: Paso Robles, California  


Blend: 45% Syrah, 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petit Verdot  


This bottle of wine was provided by some new friends of ours, and it did not disappoint! The wine had a dark opaque purple ink like color in the glass. The bouquet was lush with rich black currents, cassis fruit, sweet tobacco, toasted herbs, and pepper. The wine was medium ++ in body with integrated tannins that gave way to a long plush finish displaying hints of black currents, blueberries, crushed wild berries, licorice, herbs, and soft spice. The wine was complex with layers of concentrated dark fruits blended with exotic earth undertones. The wine has the potential to be cellared for another 10 years or so and should continue to develop and evolve nicely over a decade. This was a wonderful bottle of wine that was enjoyed with new good friends. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  December 2014

2012 Chapter 24 Vineyards Pinot Noir Fire and Flood ``The Flood"

image99

2012 Chapter 24 Vineyards Pinot Noir Fire and Flood ``The Flood"


Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA 


Blend: 100% Pinot Noir  


This bottle of wine was brought over by new friends whom also have a love and passion for wine. The wine was a clear reddish purple color in the glass. When I approached this wine I found it had an expressive bouquet with hints of black raspberries, black cherries, herbs, earth, and other dark fruit aromas. The wine was medium in body with a heavy mid palate concentrated in dark fruits. The wine had a lush mouth feel and gave way to flavors of vibrant red and dark fruit, wild berries, river rock, minerals, and a touch of pepper. This is a brilliantly balanced wine with muscular undertones, depth and complexity. The wine is still drinking quite youthful, but is age worthy and could be laid down for cellaring. If women were wine then I would marry a Cabernet Sauvignon; however, the mistress would have to be Pinot Noir. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  December 2014

2003 Pax Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard

image100

2003 Pax Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard


Location: Mendocino County, California 


Blend: 100% Syrah  


Being invited to an exciting Christmas Hot Shoe Party, we decided to bring this bottle of wine. At the event we pulled the cork and poured the wine right out of the bottle without decanting. In the glass you could see the wine was inky and had a dark purple color. On first approach I noticed the wine had a lush fruit forward bouquet with hints of blackberries, cassis fruit, espresso, plum and smooth chocolate. The wine was full in body with finely rounded tannins that gave way to an expressive finish with notes of wild berries, blackberry liqueur, milk chocolate, licorice, and soft spice. This wine was high in alcohol (16.3%) but did not drink hot like some Syrah. The wine was sophisticatedly polished and luxuriously elegant with complex layers and great depth. The wine is in its plateau of maturity and drinking spectacular right now. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  December 2014

2004 Château Pavie

image101

2004 Château Pavie


Classification: St. Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classe A 


Location: St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France 


Blend: 65% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon  


This is the largest vineyard in St. Emilion of all the Grands Crus Classes, and was acquired in 1998 by Chantal and Gerard Perse. The yields from the vineyard of the 2004 vintage were low, resulting in fewer cases of wine than usual. We enjoyed this bottle of wine at Del Frisco’s in Las Vegas. The Wine Director decanted this bottle of wine for us, only to find it had a deep opaque purple color with hues of ruby red. The wine had an earthy bouquet with hints of smoky oak wood, cassis fruit, black cherries, plum, coffee, and truffles. The wine was medium ++ in body with rounded tannins that give way to a dense concentrated finish with notes of black cherries, plum, cassis liqueur, tobacco, cocoa, all encompassed by a dusty earthy palate. The wine is complex with layers of balanced fruit and earth qualities. The wine was paired with a nice steak, lobster mac-and-cheese, and creamed spinach. This culinary / wine experience was enjoyed with a great friend. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  December 2014

1998 J. Lohr Cuvée POM

image102

1998 J. Lohr Cuvée POM


Location: Paso Robles, California 


Blend: 59% Merlot, 29.8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11.2% Cabernet Franc  


We decanted this bottle to find it had a nice deep red color. The bouquet was lush with bold aromatics like plum, dark cherries, cocoa, burnt candied caramel, and holiday spices. The wine was medium in body with soft rounded tannins that gave way to hints of dark cherries, plum, oak, chocolate, and soft earthy spices. The wine is complex with integrated flavors that weight beautifully on the palate. This wine is in its plateau of maturity and drinking wonderfully right now! Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  December 2014

2001 E. Guigal Châteauneuf-du-Pape

image103

2001 E. Guigal Châteauneuf-du-Pape


Location: Rhone, France 


Blend: 80% old Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre, 5% others  


We decanted this bottle of wine to find it had a clear ruby red color. The wine had a clean bouquet with aromas of strawberry, raspberries, eucalyptus, prunes, and a touch of all spice. The wine was medium in body with smooth rounded tannins, and a crisp acidity. The wine coated the palate leaving a nice long finish that displayed hints of fresh red cherries, prunes, cocoa, earthy burnt wood, and soft spices. The wine was well balanced with layers of complex fruit and earth flavors. The wine is in its plateau of maturity and drinking wonderfully right now. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  December 2014

2011 Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot

image104

2011 Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: 83% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2.5% Petit Verdot, 2.5% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc  


We decanted this bottle of wine to find it had a nice deep ruby red color. The wine had a bouquet of dark cherries, plum, licorice, cigar box, and spiced herbs. This wine had integrated tannins that led to a nice finish giving off hints of black fruit, vanilla, chocolate, savory herbs, and soft spice. The wine is still quite youthful and seems to be lacking some depth and complexity; thus, I hope cellaring this wine for another few years will assist in helping it develop. The wine seems to have potential but is not quite pulling it off yet. Give this another few years!


Tasted:  December 2014

2001 Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey

image105

2001 Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey


Classification: Sauternes Premier Grand Cru Classe 


Location: Bommes, Bordeaux, France 


Blend: 90% Semillon, 5% Sauvignon, 5% Muscadelle  


The wine was a golden yellow with succulent aromas of vanilla, honey, oak, caramel, bananas, and other dried fruits. The wine was full bodied with hints of pineapple, brown sugar, flan, and other tropical fruits. The wine drinks a little hot at first on the back end, but that dissipates and leaves you with a nice long bright finish. I have not had the privilege of drinking many Sauternes but this one was delightful. The wine appears to be in its plateau of maturity; however, with the high sugar level I anticipate this wine could last another 10 years if properly cellared. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  December 2014

2003 Two Hands "Lily's Garden" Shiraz

image106

2003 Two Hands "Lily's Garden" Shiraz


Location: McLaren Vale, Australia 


Blend: 100% Shiraz  


This beautiful inky purple color wine was your typical Aussie fruit bomb. The wine had a rich bouquet of cassis liqueur, blackberries, ripe plum, burnt oak, led pencil, and spiced chocolate. The wine was full in body with layers of concentrated complex earth and fruit flavors. On the palate I was getting hints of blackberries, blueberry jam, river rock, coffee, and soft spice. This is a nice bottle of wine that is in its plateau of maturity. Recommended!


Tasted:  November 2014

2003 Torbreck Shiraz The Factor

image107

2003 Torbreck Shiraz The Factor


Location: Barossa Valley, Australia 


Blend: 100% Shiraz  


We decanted this bottle to find a deep purple color. The wine had a bouquet displaying loads for dark fruit with aromas of blackberry, boysenberry jam, plum, black cherries, coffee, and burnt oak. The wine was dense and full bodied with lush velvety round tannins that gave way to an expressively long finish. On the palate the wine was luxurious with hints of blackberries, black cherry liqueur, Turkish coffee, sweet licorice, oak and soft spices. This well balanced wine is expressive and complex, showing good depth and structure. The wine is in its plateau of maturity, and is drinking quite brilliant right now. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  November 2014

2007 Quintessa Rutherford Proprietary Red

image108

2007 Quintessa Rutherford Proprietary Red


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Carmenere  


A good friend of mine indulged me with this beautiful wine. We decanted the wine to find it had a deep dark purple color with hues of ruby red. The wine was giving off a sweet bouquet of black raspberries, currants, black cherries, mocha, soft tobacco and herbs. The wine was medium ++ in body with lush rounded tannins that gave way to a luxurious long finish displaying hints of rich dark fruits, chocolate, oak, and Rutherford dusty earth. The wine is complex, showing good depth and balance. This wine should continue to evolve over the next few years and has the potential to cellar for another ten years. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  November 2014

2003 Dom Pérignon Brut Champagne

image109

2003 Dom Pérignon Brut Champagne


Location: Champagne, France 


Blend: 62% Pinot Noir & 38% Other  


We were invited to participate in the celebration of our good friend’s anniversary; thus, they brought this fine bottle of Champagne to kick off the evening. This bottle of Champagne set the tone for a wonderful evening of good food, wine & friends. This bubbling beauty was rick and fresh with aromas of apricots, mango, soft smoke, and a touch of ginger flower. The wine was creamy on the palate with smooth velvety bursts of pear, honey, wet minerals, and other dried fruits. This classic harmonious blend is displaying strong pinot noir characteristics with intriguing depth. This wonderful bottle of Champagne is in its plateau of maturity, but could easily continue cellaring for another 10 years. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  November 2014

2004 Elizabeth Spencer Pinot Noir ExS Block Seven

image110

2004 Elizabeth Spencer Pinot Noir ExS Block Seven


Location: Sonoma Coast, California 


Blend: 100% Pinot Noir  


We decanted this bottle of wine to find it had a dark garnet color. The wine had a lush bouquet with aromas of black plum, black cherries, violets, cigar smoke, and a touch of vanilla. The wine was medium in body with smooth rounded tannins that gave way to a nice long finish displaying hints of crushed dark fruit, blackberries, black cherries, earthy minerals and toasted herbs. This wine was wonderfully balanced with depth and complexity; thus, the wine was showing beautifully. This wine is in its plateau of maturity and appears to be holding onto its youth, leading me to believe this wine could continue cellaring for another 5 to 8 years with no problem. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  November 2014

2008 Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

image111

2008 Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon  


This beautiful rich full bodied cabernet sauvignon had a lush bouquet with aromas of licorice, cassis fruit, blueberries, currants, cedar, earth and minerals. The nose on this wine was strong with dark berry fruit, almost that of a shiraz. The wine was balanced with complex layers of flavor showing hints of dense dark fruit, black licorice, and earth tones that played off the smooth chewy tannins. The wine had a nice long finish and is still drinking quite youthful; thus, this wine can easily continue cellaring for another 5 to 8 years. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  November 2014

2004 Kilikanoon "Testament" Shiraz

image112

2004 Kilikanoon "Testament" Shiraz


Location: Barossa Valley, Australia  


Blend: Shiraz  


This wine was exhibiting a deep opaque purple color with reddish hues. The wine had a fresh fruit forward bouquet with hints of blackberries, blueberries, dark roasted coffee, white pepper, and earthy leather. The wine was rich and full bodied with rounded tannins that gave way to hints of cassis liqueur, blackberries, minerals, and dusty earth. This wine was beautifully balanced with concentrated layers of fruit and earth. The wine drank wonderfully and is in its plateau of maturity; however, this wine could easily continue cellaring for 8 to 12 years more. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  November 2014

2006 Alban Vineyards Estate Syrah REVA

image113

2006 Alban Vineyards Estate Syrah REVA


Location: Edna Valley, California 


Blend: 100% Syrah  


I decanted this bottle of wine to find it had a nice opaque purple color. On first approach the wine seemed a little tight and closed off, but after about an hour the bouquet was bountiful with aromas of blackberries, black cherries, cassis fruit, licorice, minerals, pepper, and tobacco notes. The wine was full in body with rounded tannins and luxuriously smooth on the palate giving off hints of plum, blackberries, cassis jam, vanilla, river rock, and other complex layers of fruit and earth. This is a wonderful bottle of wine that should continue to evolve nicely over the next 6 to 10 years. This wine obviously benefits from its terroir, with its dark volcanic soil that brings forth a rich, interesting intense characteristic that is beautifully balanced. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  November 2014

2006 Ghost Block Estate "Single Vineyard" Yountville Cabernet Sauvignon

image114

2006 Ghost Block Estate "Single Vineyard" Yountville Cabernet Sauvignon


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon  


This winery got its eerie name due to the fact that it boarders the Pioneer Cemetery; thus, in honor of Halloween I decided to treat myself to this bottle of wine after a long day. On first approach I notice the wine had a bouquet of cassis berries, blackberries, cedar, pepper, and soft herbs. The wine was medium + in body with rounding tannins that gave way to hints of red and dark fruits, green olives, oak, and a touch of chocolate. The wine seemed a bit closed to start but after some time it began to open up nicely. This wine seems to lack depth and is drinking a little thin in the middle. I am not sure how much more this wine can evolve, as it appears to be already in its plateau of maturity. In honesty I was a little disappointed!


Tasted:  November 2014

1994 Van Asperen Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

image115

1994 Van Asperen Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon  


We opened this wine and decanted it to enjoy with some good friends before going out to dinner. The wine had a deep dark garnet color with hues of purple. This wine had an intense bouquet with concentrated aromas of black currants, black cherries, toasted oak, leather, soft spice and other integrated layers of dark berry fruit. This wine was medium ++ in body with velvety tannins that led to a big finish expressing hints of cassis liqueur, stewed black cherries, river rock, and a soft spice on the back end. The wine was spectacularly youthful for its age and a perfect example of well-aged California cabernet sauvignon. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  October 2014

1997 Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux

image116

1997 Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux


Location: Margaux, Bordeaux, France 


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


This is the Second Wine of Chateau Margaux, and as such this parent was classified as a First Growth in 1855. I opened this bottle of wine to enjoy with a good friend whom had stopped by unexpectedly, but was a welcomed surprise. As I decanted this red beauty we noticed it had a floral bouquet with hints of perfume, cassis fruit, cherries, currants, toasted wood, and forest floor. The wine was medium in body with smooth tannins that gave way to a refined finish displaying notes of ripe cherries, spicy oak, dusty earth, and other red fruit flavors. The wine was surprisingly well structured and drank quite harmoniously with a nice balance of fruit and earth. I have heard negative reports of the 1997 vintage, but this wine did not disappoint. Understand that the wine was not as rich and lacked the depth of the First Growth parent; however, is a nice effort displaying a good representation of what to expect from Chateau Margaux, and its terroir. Recommended!


Tasted:  October 2014

2003 Château Kirwan

image117

2003 Château Kirwan


Classification: Third Growth in 1855 


Location: Margaux, Bordeaux, France 


Blend: 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 8% Petit Verdot  


A good friend of mine decanted this bottle of wine to enjoy with a lovely lunch he had prepared for us. The wine had a deep red color and a concentrated bouquet of plum, black cherries, cedar, chocolate, spice, and earthy minerals. The wine was medium in body with supple tannins that gave way to a brilliant finish with hints of black currants, cherries, oak, and a soft earthiness with a touch of spice. The wine had a balanced complexity and was still drinking quite youthful; however, the wine is in its plateau of maturity. This bottle of wine complimented our perfectly cooked ribeye steaks, mushroom risotto, and asparagus in a balsamic glaze. The wine married well with the lunch and heightened the culinary experience. Highly Recommended!


Tasting:  October 2014

2011 Goldeneye Ten Degrees Estate Grown Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

image118

2011 Goldeneye Ten Degrees Estate Grown Anderson Valley Pinot Noir


Location: Anderson Valley, California 


Blend: 100% Pinot Noir  


A good friend indulged me with this beautiful ruby wine. We decanted the wine and on first approach found it had a rich bouquet with aromas of brown sugar, blueberries, chocolate, and toasted oak. The wine was smooth with integrated tannins that gave way to a long finish showing notes of plum, red cherries, river stone, vanilla, and other sweet spices. The wine is sophisticated and well balanced; thus, this wine will continue to evolve over time and should improve for those that are patient and cellar it for another few years. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  October 2014

2007 B Cellars Blend 25

image119

2007 B Cellars Blend 25


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Syrah  


We decanted this wine to find it had a beautiful deep garnet color with purple hues. The wine had a lovely bouquet with lush aromas of cherries, blackberries, currants, tobacco, and exotic spices. The wine was medium to full bodied with chewy tannins that gave way to a nice long finish displaying hints of blackberries, plum, mocha, cassis fruit, and a touch of vanilla. This wine is drinking great right now but should continue to mature and develop for several years. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  October 2014

2005 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape

image120

2005 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape


Location: Southern Rhone, France 


Blend: 75% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre, 5% Cinsault  


We decanted this bottle of wine to find it had a deep ruby color. Wafting from my glass was a bouquet of raspberries, blackberries, freshly cut flowers, herbs, minerals and wet forest floor aromas. This medium to full body wine had rounded tannins that gave way to a plethora of sweet raspberries, cherries, creamy black currants, cooked herbs, fig, and a soft earthiness. This wine is complex and layered with depth. The wine is drinking great right now but should continue to evolve for several more years. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  2014

2003 Lagier Meredith Syrah

image121

2003 Lagier Meredith Syrah


Location: Napa Valley, California 


Blend: Syrah  


We decanted this wine to find it had a deep dark purple color. The wine had a concentrated bouquet of blueberries, black currants, exotic spices, white pepper, and toasted wood. This rich wine had a luxurious dark fruit core with hints of boysenberry, cassis fruit, blackberries, earthy wood and charred herbs. The wine was plush with a velvety mouth feel and complex layers. This is a beautiful bottle of wine that is in its plateau of maturity and drinking wonderfully right now. Highly Recommended!


Tasted:  October 2014