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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France, Rose, Rosé d’Anjou, Mulonnière, Loire Valley, 2015

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Red blend of: 40% Cabernet Franc, 30% Grolleau, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Gamay N/ Fresh rain, wet cement, raspberry Jolly Ranchers, crushed granite. In short, exactly the way rose should smell. T/ Medium to medium full mouth feel which was a surprise. Usually roses are much lighter in the piehole region. What also was […]

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France, Malbec, Domaine du Théron, Cuvée Prestige, Cahors, 2011

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N/ Wow, lots of Brettomyces here with typical barnyard and bandaid smells. The livestock odors dominate, but one can find some black and blue fruit aromas just past the Brett onslaught, as well as nice dark earth notes. T/ Once past the Brett flavors she has an elegant mouthfeel with ample blue and black fruits […]

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Argentina, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, Trivento, Mendoza, 2013

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This one best a few, to many, hours after decanting. She really blossoms if you give her enough air. As always, if you don’t have a decanter handy just pour into a clean glass pitcher. Rated four hours after decanting. N/ Ripe red and black fruits like black currant and black raspberries. Game, leather, black […]

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Spain, Albariño, Vionta, Limited Release, Rías Biaxas, 2014

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N/ Steamed hay, marine/beach/salty wafts, yellow fruits, fresh rain, river rocks, and light chlorine/ozone. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Round and very easy to drink. Yellow fruits and lean/clean mineral and rock notes. Medium acid levels. Light bitter bite. River rock close. Price = $16 Winemaker = Roberto Fuentes http://www.riasbaixaswines.com/winery/vionta/wine/2759/ N = B+ T = B+ I […]

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France, Red Blend, Ferraton Père & Fils, Samorëns, Côtes du Rhône, 2014

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Blend of grenache (85%), syrah (10%),and cinsault (5%). N/ Black pepper and earthy spices. Purple and black fruits fruits. Plum skins. Wild herbs and black soil. T/ Spicy, racy, and quite complex for the price point – this wine delivers wonderful fruit flavors of black cherries and plums with a lean acid backbone that makes […]

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France, White Blend, Ferraton Père & Fils, Samorëns, Côtes du Rhône, 2015

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Blend of white grenache (60%) and clairette (40%). N/ White and red flowers, honeysuckle, marine wafts, chamomile tea, light citrus, strawberries, and river rocks. T/ Medium mouth feel. Very nice acid. Fresh and light. Citrus and mineral flavors dominate. Yellow grasses, light spice, and chamomile. http://www.ferraton.fr/wines/cotes-du-rhone-samorens-white-ferraton.html Price = $14 N = B T = B […]

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USA, Chardonnay, Artesa, Carneros, Napa Valley, California, 2013

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N/ While she certainly has the deep notes of butter one expects in most ripe and malolactic California chardonnays, she also has lovely aromas of flowers, toast, fresh rain, and pineapple. Delightful. T/ Medium full mouthfeel. Rich flavors of pineapple, passion fruit, and other tropicals. A clean and limey acid cuts through the fruit and […]

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