Posts tagged as:

$60-$98

Winery & Vineyard Visits / Winemaker Focus / Cornerstone Cellars / Jeff Keene / Napa Valley, California & Oregon

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I had the privilege of sitting with winemaker Jeff Keene for an extended tasting of Cornerstone wines. The offerings were delicious, impressive, and showed a broad range of styles. The wine also importantly showed restraint in all the right places. Jeff was 100% delightful and explained his winemaking philosophy beautifully. Passion is an over-used word in the […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain, Cornerstone Cellars, Napa Valley, California, 2009

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Red blend of: 95% cabernet sauvignon and 5% merlot. Rated 4 hours after decanting. C/ Deep and spooky purple black. Gorgeous. N/ Pine needles and conifer scents. Deep barrel room, cassis, and plum notes. Leather and smoked sage. The deliciously layered smells of a pine forest when you wake up in a sleeping bag. I love […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malk Family Vineyards, Stags Leap AVA, Napa Valley, California, 2009

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N/ When compared with the incredible 07 and 08 vintages, this 09 has deeper, softer, notes of those same lovely rose petals. Absolutely sexy and voluptuous. Plums and black cherries. Soft, light, white pepper and forest floor. Soft cedar, florals, and barrel room notes. Wild herbs. The aromatics deliciously ebb and flow. Enjoy over hours […]

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(Winery & Vineyard Visits), Castello di Amorosa, Calistoga, Napa Valley, California, USA

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Castello di Amorosa crafts some great wines, as I’ve reviewed in the past.  So when I was planning my most recent Napa and Sonoma tour, Castello was high on my hit list of places to visit. I also had another motivation to see the castle, as I wanted to finally meet, in person, my friend […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malk Family Vineyards, Stags Leap District AVA, Napa Valley, California, 2008

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As I’ve stated before, I think Malk makes one of the best California Cabernet Sauvignons that one can buy under $500. And she only costs $72. N/ Violet and rose-petal reduction (truly flat out amazing). Clean, deep plum meat and blackberry jam. Flinty, dark soil. Aged cigar box. Sage. Light wafts of dry forest floor. […]

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France, Pinot Noir (Burgundy), Morey Saint Denis, Premier Cru Les Ruchots, Frederic Magnien, 1996

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N/ Aggressive pine and resin layered clumsily over lovely florals and dark brooding black fruits. Old leather, crisp flint, and gunpowder. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel. Coating, pine infused, slightly oxidized cherries. Deep black cherries and earth. Long tarty cranberry and mineral finish. Balance decidedly off. I was so excited to have this wine, but she just […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Baldacci, Stags Leap, Napa, 2003

Was surprisingly ready to enjoy immediately after opening. No wait needed. N/ Round, deep, stewed cassis. Amazing chocolate layers – from milk to bitter. Crushed leaves, forest floor. Wet, black, slightly smoky soil. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel. Incredibly soft and pillowy. Plum bomb of perfect proportions. Stewed, soft cassis. Only fault is layers just a tad […]

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France, Loire Valley, Vouvray, Wine Dinner, San Diego Wine & Food Festival

The San Diego Wine & Food Festival (http://www.worldofwineevents.com/) is a annual event that is a do-not-miss.  While the grand tasting event is mammoth, fun, and filled with great wine selections and food, this post will focus on one of the “side offerings”of the festival which include delightful small group dinners, etc. @WineHarlots and I were […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bremer Family, Howell Mountain, Napa, 2003

Note: this is a study in how patience after taking the cork out can pay off. Wait at least two hours post decanting before enjoying this. Prior to the two hour mark, the wine is a disappointment, but after two hours she is elegant. N/ Clean cassis. Warm, dry hay. Warm granite, flint, and cedar. […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Franciscan, Winemaker’s Reserve, Napa, California, 2004

Note: suggest waiting one hour post decant as some of the more angular elements and spiky tannins need the air. N/ Lovely, fat oaks. Complex spice. White pepper dusted plums. Cigar box, old leather, soft earth, and forest floor. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel. Fat, ripe plums. Deep, aged cassis. Velvety rich, elegant mouthfeel. Deep earth and […]

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(Winery & Vineyard Visits), Events, Vineyard to Vintner (V2V), Stags Leap, Napa Valley, California, USA

The end of every April finds me in Napa Valley’s Stags Leap district – enjoying a fantastic event, the “Vineyard to Vintner” (V2V) weekend. My friend Adam and I pour for Malk Family Vineyards (the only time of year they are open to the public). The link to the event and to Malk Family Vineyards […]

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USA, Red Blend (Cabernet Sauvignon dominated), High Roller, JAQK Cellars, Napa Valley, California, 2007

Red Blend of: 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot. Note: I see a staggering number of wine bottles each year.  This powerful presentation, with authentic poker chip bolted right on, was among the coolest bottles I’ve seen in a long while. N/ I was expecting more French oak presence. […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sterling, Diamond Mountain Ranch, 1995

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N/ Old oaks, flint, gunpowder. Dry black earth. Smoked plums. Lovely for first 30 minutes, then began smelling a tad of steel and rust. T/ Light to medium mouthfeel (likely due to old age).  Sharp. Clean but somewhat dusty texture. Old,  oak-stewed blackberries and black cherries. Hints of a brilliant structure and layering that must have […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malk Family Vineyards, Stags Leap District AVA, Napa, California, 2007

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In my opinion, this is among the best California Cabernet Sauvignons that one can buy under $500. And she only costs $65 – $72. N/ Violets, blackberry jam, earth and baked bread. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Super clean. Clean, dripping plums. Liquid cigar box. Dry earth. Long, full, finish. Pure Cabernet elegance. Winemaker = Robbie Meyer […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malk Family Vineyards, Stags Leap District AVA, Napa Valley, California, 2006

N/ Black currant, cassis, cigar box, flint, wet earth, black pepper. Amazingly, quite akin to a full, massive, Bordeaux blend. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel. Medium clean. Big smokey plums, black fruits, damp black Earth. Dripping blackberry juice. http://www.malkfamilyvineyards.com/ Winemaker = Robbie Meyer Fabulous. Retail = $65. WELL worth it. Astounding 96

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(Winery & Vineyard Visits), Far Niente, Napa Valley, California, USA

Far Niente – one of my favorite wineries….. From the entrance, the grounds, to the classy first human contact, Far Niente states loud and clear that you’ve arrived somewhere special.The smugness is not negative, it actually rings of genuine, “I’m flat out so happy to be working in this brilliant place you might as well […]

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(Winery & Vineyard Visits), Pine Ridge, Stags Leap, Napa Valley, California, Cabernet Sauvignons & Red Blends

Pine Ridge is another big proponent of cave aging, with about 7/10ths of a mile to show. I did a barrel-to-bottle tasting, and it was excellent. This is a truly great vineyard, and some of their aged wines can rival the 1st growths of Bordeaux. Also, a very, very, attractive cave and tour.   Specific […]

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USA, Late Harvest, Botrytis, Far Niente, California, 2005

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From such shriveled, unsightly grapes comes something approaching perfection… I usually attempt to not wax on and off with hazy vinobabble but this beast makes me break down.  Prepare to think I’ve lost it, until you try it… C/ Her golden hues appear alive and otherworldly, I actually wondered aloud if the bottle itself had […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malk Family Vineyards, Stags Leap AVA, Napa, California, 2005

N / Beautiful, unique – but elegantly explosive like the established Napa powerhouse Cabs. Aromas of a sweet cassis reduction sauce, dark red fruits, black cherries, earth and forest floor. Multiple layers of matured oak. T/ Full mouthfeel, round but generous tannins, and beautiful structure. Long, meaningful, finish. http://www.malkfamilyvineyards.com/ Winemaker = Robbie Meyer Retail = $65.  WELL worth it. Astounding. […]

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