Italy, Nero d’Avola, Cusumano, Terre Siciliane IGT, 2015

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N/ A subtle but inviting nose of Earth, dried herbs, red fruits, wet organic soil and cracked stone. T/ Light to medium mouthfeel. Lovely acid that makes this a great food wine. Nice Earth flavors and herbal notes with tobacco and Stone. Black cherry and red fruits add complexity. She closes with tobacco and cedar […]

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New Zealand, Pinot Noir, Loveblock, Central Otago, 2013

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N/ Spicy oak. Dusty black cherry. Pepper. Flowers. Light game notes. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Berries, red fruits, and cherries. Multiple wood flavors. http://terlatowines.com/new-wines/new-zealand/loveblock/pinot-noir Alcohol 14% Price = $35ish N = A- T = B I = B Overall = B / B+ This wine was a media sample generously provided by the winery. From the […]

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USA, Syrah, Acorn, Axiom, Alegria Vineyard, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California, 2013

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N/ Deep, sweet oak and barrel room wafts. Sage and wild herbs do play. Plum skin reduction sauce. Amazing. Crushed granite. Wet black soil. T/ Plum, plum skins, complex earth and organic notes, and Maduro tobacco leaf notes. Another complex and fulfilling wine from the “field blend masters” at Acorn. 321 cases made 14.2% booze […]

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Chile, Cabernet Sauvignon, Marques de Casa Concha, Concha y Toro, Puente Alto, Maipo Valley, 2014

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N/ Purple and red fruits. Smoked game. Brick dust. Paprika. Cedar / cigar box. Forest floor. Bell peppers. T/ Medium full mouth feel. Loaded with red, blue, and black fruit flavors. These are well-balanced with wood and Earth notes. Only detraction is a light bell pepper note that will likely resolve with more bottle rest […]

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Spain, Albariño, Morgadio, Rías Baixas, 2015

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N/ Hay, salt, and the smell of the ocean. Cracked granite, citrus, chamomile, and light herbs. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Lime juice squeezed into chamomile tea. Truly. Refreshing. Pairing: shellfish, fish, or veggie dishes. http://www.riasbaixaswines.com/ Price = $13 – $16 N = A- T = B+ I = B+ Overall = B+ This wine was a […]

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New Zealand, Pinot Gris, villa Maria, East Coast, Private Bin, 2015

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N/ Green apples, steamed hay, sun bleached river rocks, beach sand, fresh rain, wet cement. T/ Light to medium mouthfeel. Tart honeysuckle and crisp apple flavors dominate but light citrus, pear, and gooseberry flavors do play. Quite an unexpected complexity in the fruit profile compared with typical pinot gris. Soft mineral notes and another bite […]

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USA, Pinot Noir, Thomas George Estates, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California, 2012

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N/ Pure cherry, black cherry, black tea, bacon, game, sage, taffy, crushed flint, and forest floor notes. Lovely. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Cherry, black cherry, and game notes are framed by medium acidity. Clean mineral and organic Earth flavors. Delivers a well-made Russian River Valley pinot noir at a lower price point than most. Only detraction […]

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France, Champagne, Sparkling Wine, Bruno Paillard, Première Cuvée, Reims

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N/ Salted green apple slices Crushed granite. Chalk. Delicate marine wafts. Quite inviting. T/ Light to medium mouthfeel. Crisp green and yellow apples. Clean lines of mineral, flint and granite. Elegant. Price = $50 http://www.champagnebrunopaillard.com/en/champagnes/premiere-cuvee/ N = A- T = A I = A Overall = A This wine was a media sample kindly provided […]

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USA, Oregon, Pinot Noir, Left Coast Cellars, Cali’s Cuvee, Willamette Valley, 2014

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N/ Blackberry jam, lime zest, freshly crushed flint, and cigar box. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Blackberries and raspberry notes with a nice bouncing acidity. Wet organic soil notes and an extended earthy finish. Price = $24 http://leftcoastcellars.com/ N = B+ T = B+ I = B+ Overall = B+ This wine was a media sample kindly […]

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Germany, Riesling, Urban Riesling, Nik Weis Selection, Mosel, 2015

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N/ The vaseline/petrol power is just right – lets you know what grape you are quaffing and tickles the nose. Flower power here. Citrus, chamomile, and crushed granite. Very nice smoky notes also telling you that there is a Mosel riesling in your glass. T/ Medium full mouthfeel. Citrus, tart green apples, and a hint […]

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France, Chenin Blanc, Saget La Perrière, Château de la Mulonnière, Loire Valley, 2015

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N/ Sun bleached rocks, spring water, honeysuckle, light citrus, light chlorine, and chamomile tea. T/ Medium full mouthfeel. Lovely dancing acid, limes, really ripe apples, and white peaches. About one degree too sweet for me, but this will be a huge crowd pleaser at parties. Absolutely delicious. Winemakers: Benoit Dufour and Laurent Saget Alcohol = […]

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Italy, Pinot Noir, Pinot Nero, Rollhuett, Rolhut, Peter Zemmer, Alto Adige, Sudtirol, 2015

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N/ Red berries, gorgeous crushed rose petals, granite, cherries, wet cement, and spice. Lovely. T/ Light mouthfeel. Elegant weight for the price point. Berries, red fruits, and clean mineral and earth notes. A bit of a tannic cranberry pucker which mellows with breathing time. Well integrated oak notes. Clean, restrained juiciness, and nice rock notes […]

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New Zealand, Pinot Noir, Villa Maria, Marlborough, 2015

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N/ All the cherries, earth, and light spice notes that you expect from a New Zealand pinot noir. Delivers. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Nice bing cherry and red berry flavors accompanied by earth and mineral in the right balance. http://www.villamariawine.com/ N = B+ T = B I = B+ Overall = B+ This wine was a […]

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Argentina, Malbec, Red blend, Amalaya, Salta, Calchaqui Valley, 2015

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Red blend of 85% malbec, 10% tannant, and 5% syrah For best results I suggest you decant and wait 30 minutes to an hour before enjoying as she had some reduced aromas that need to float off N/ Black fruits, black soil, plum skins, marine wafts, crushed leaves, forest floor, and taffy. T/ Purple and […]

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Italy, Nero d’Avola, Mandrarossa, Costa Dune, Sicilia, Sicily, 2015

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Rated one hour after opening as she needs some time to open up to allow her nose to blossom. N/ She leads with the smell of a wild countryside dotted with sagebrush. Crushed granite. Paprika. Exotic spices like nutmeg. The fruit elements are restrained but red berry and plum skin notes delight. T/ Medium to […]

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Italy, Frappato, Planeta, Sicilia Vittoria, Sicilia (Sicily), 2015

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N/ She greets you with wild herbs and cherry taffy wafts. I find hints of copper / blood and nice dark soil notes. She also has plum skins, fresh organic earth aromas, and a bit of brick dust. Lovely. T/ Light to medium mouthfeel. Cherry and red berry flavors dominate with a touch of gripping […]

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Spain, Bodega Paniza, Garnacha and Tempranillo, Paniza, Cariñena, 2013

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N/ Tomato leaves dominate. Wild and savory herb blast, with organic soil and earth, paprika, and dusty black fruits. T/ Medium mouth feel. Dusty purple and black fruits infused with notes of black soil, earth, and maduro tobacco. Rustic. Very rustic. Pair with a meat pizza, lamb, or game. http://www.bodegaspaniza.com/en/index.php Price = $10 – $15 […]

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Spain, Garnacha, Particular, Bodegas San Valero, Cariñena, 2013

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N/ The first thing that hits you is a blast of wild country herbs, light mint, and Eucalyptus wafts. Ripe red and black berries delight. Split flint, black soil, brick dust, and hardwoods bring the earth notes and round out a wonderful and complex nose. T/ Medium mouthfeel with clean and elegant lines of red, […]

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New Zealand, Pinot Noir, Catalina Sounds, Marlborough, 2013

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N/ Berry medley, countryside wild herbs, and dry earth notes. Light cigar box / cedar wafts. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Nice acid pop but was hoping for just a tad more. Rich mixed berry and bing cherry flavors nicely intertwine with earth and herbal notes. Extended finish. http://catalinasounds.co.nz/our-wines/ Price = $19 N = B+ T = […]

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Winery & Vineyard Visits / Markham / Napa Valley, California

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I had the distinct pleasure of tasting through a wide selection of Markham wines with the absolutely entertaining and knowledgeable winemaker that is Kim Nicholls. Markham wines represent some of the finest quality to price ratio offerings in Napa Valley. One thing that helps them achieve this is the fact that Markham owns over 350 […]

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