Posts tagged as:

…96

USA, Petite Sirah, Don Sebastiani & Sons, The Crusher, Grower’s Selection, Clarksburg, California, 2009

Red Blend of: 97% Petite Sirah and 3% Alicante Bouchet. N/ Gamey black fruits. Wet, dark soil. Clean, black pepper. Taffy. Warm smoke. Serious and muscular. Fantastic. T/ Medium-full to full mouthfeel. Huge stewed plum and blueberry reduction sauce.  Liquid burlap. Excellent balance. Integrated wood work. Soft mineral closer. Bruising, but balanced. This is one […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Skylite Cellars, Walla Walla Valley, Washington, 2007

N/ Amazing, warm spice box. Beauteous, fat oaks. Cedar cigar box. Huge blackcherries and cassis. Clean herbals. Wet, black soil. Lightly crushed granite. Phenomenal. T/ Full, silky, mouthfeel. Massive black fruits. Round plums, lightly peppered. Wonderfully sweet oaks. Long, round finish. Only small thing lacking is that the layers are just a tad undefined. http://www.skylitecellars.com/ […]

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USA, Pinot Noir (Red Blend), Blackstone, Winemaker’s Select, Monterey County, 2009

Red Blend of: 83% Pinot Noir, 15% Syrah, and 2% Petite Syrah California AVAs in the bottle = 70% Monterey, 12% Valley South, 9% North Coast, and 9% San Benito County Note: I’ve had almost the full line of “Winemaker’s Select” from Blackstone.  I’m very impressed with the series – as it offers significant value […]

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Australia, Shiraz, Fetish, “The Watcher”, Barossa Vale, 2008

N/ Fat, ripe plums flambéd with other ripe plums. Stewed rhubarb. Round smoke. Cigar box. Brick dust. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Fat, full, but still quite clean plums. High acid for the massive fruit punch. Liquid smoked woods. Tobacco juice. Slight chocolate. Winemaker = Rolf Binder Price = $12.95 Astounding. 96 Tasting courtesy of http://www.lajollamom.com

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Villa Mt. Eden, Grand Reserve, Napa, 2005

Red blend of: 87% Cabernet Sauvignon,7% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot, and 2% Malbec N/ Cassis. Forest floor. Strawberry. Taffy. Flint. Granite. Round black pepper. Lovely. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel. Dripping blackberry, plums, and currant. Warm oakness. Only need for improvement is that the wine is a tad fuzzy. Winemaker = Michael McGrath Price = $17 http://villamteden.com/index.cfm […]

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USA, Syrah, Skylite Cellars, Columbia Valley, Washington, 2005

N/ Warm cherry. Smooth, mature oaks. Blackcherries. Granite. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Medium clean. Tad tannic. Elegant “meatness”. Powerful, dark fruit well-integrated with oak.  Wonderful. Winemaker = Robert Smasne Price = $32. Astounding. 96 This wine was part of a “Syrah Smackdown” tasting event. This bottle kindly provided by @UCBeau

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Spain, Red Blend, Cabernet and Tempranillo, The Spanish Quarter, 2007

Red Blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Tempranillo N/ Warm, sweet peppers. Black pepper. Oaked red berries. Light chlorine. Stale water. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Dripping berries. Bright, lovely acid for a red. So smooth, incredibly gulpable. Nice tannns but almost zero bite. Even some nice structure. Surprising and delightful for the price. The QPR […]

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USA, Pinot Noir, MacMurray Ranch, Central Coast, 2007

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Really opened up nicely after about an hour. N/ Big cherries, crisp cranberry, lovely dry earth. Hint of white pepper. Warm oaks. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Clove dusted cherries. Nice layers, solid wood work. Lovely. Retail $14.99 at VONS on special.  Other places up to $23, so shop carefully. Buy all you can under $20ish. Astounding. […]

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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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France, Syrah, Vanel, 2008

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This is a huge score. I’m shocked at the Quality / Price Ratio on this one…..   N/ Deep, round stewed ripe plums with pepper. Baked bread. Cigar box.   T/ Medium full mouthfeel. Big purple and black fruits. Slight chalk, but nice layers. Cherry and stone finish.   Exceptional balance for such an affordable […]

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USA, Riesling, SOFIA, Francis Coppola, Monterey County, 2008

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First off the bottle is simply among the most beautiful containers you’ll see for a large production wine. Sexy, tear shape. Crystal clear. Interesting neck. This thing is a flower vase for sure after I drain it (or lamp, see below). I’d easily pay 6$ for this as a vase alone – so the wine […]

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USA, Cabernet Franc, Trefethen, Oak Knoll, Napa Valley, California, 2005

Red Blend of: 96% Cabernet Franc, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1% Merlot. Note: Do NOT drink this until at least 2, preferably 3-4 hours after opening/decanting. The wait is WELL worth it… N/ Dried hardwoods and cedar. Red and black berries. Wet earth. Nice, bitter chocolate after 3 hours. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel. Dripping blackberries and […]

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USA, Chardonnay, Testarossa, Castello, 2007

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N/ Huge, fat nose. Steamed hay. Ripe yellow fruits. Light honey. Delightful yet serious. T/ Full mouthfeel. Coating glcerol and petrol. Hugeweight. Fantastic. Seared cream brulee top. Somehow still light and fresh.  Quite reminiscent of Far Niente Chard which I consideramong the very best of the US Chards. The low-yield, small berry vintage that was 2007Chards for Testarossa seemed to have served […]

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USA, Syrah, Zaca Mesa, Santa Ynez Valley, 2005

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N/ Barrel room. Dark, brooding plums – just like I like ’em. Smoked black pepper. Slight game. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Clean, sharp edges. Slightly chalky. Very well balanced oaky, plummed-up delight. Excellent winemaking, especially for the price! Price = $17. Astounding. 96

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Folie a Deux, Napa Valley, 2005

N/ Deep, ripe oaks. Sweet, dried plums. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel. Round, smooth, huge plums, cassis, and blackberries. Melted chocolate. Wow. I have no idea what the current release tastes like but this blew me away. Only fault was that it was slightly chalky. Perhaps the newer vintages are fined better and are cleaner? Or maybe […]

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USA, Merlot, Mondavi, Private Selection, 2008

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C/ Wow. Gorgeous fresh, clean, blood. N/ Started out all roses. Deep, ripe, rose petal bliss. Amazing. Slowly, some dried cherry and light smoke notes emerged to mingle with the rose orgy. Such a delightful Merlot nose – especially for this price point. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel.  Exceptionally clean for a Merlot. Smooth. Big dried red fruits, lavender, chocolate. […]

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USA, Syrah, Herman Story, White Hawk Vineyard, 2007

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Once again a heavily extracted, high alcohol beauty and beast from Russell From, the man behind Herman Story Wines. Syrah with 2-3% Viognier. http://hermanstorywines.com/ N/ Ripe plums looking for a fight. Huge extraction. Candied oak. Barrel room. Plum, agitated cherry, spice, and chocolate bliss. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel (I expected full, but this, like all Herman Story I’ve […]

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Argentina, Malbec, Brandsen, 2004

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N/ Light, but what is there consists of nice blackberries, coffee, and vanilla from the oak. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel. Smooth plums. Berries. A tad lacking in layers, but lovely nonetheless. Retail only $8! A phenomenal Malbec for the price! Astounding. 96

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Argentina, Malbec, Trapiche, Broquel, 2007

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N/ Candied oaks. Barrell room. Plums. Violets.T/ Medium-full to full mouthfeel. Ripe plums. Clean. Dry.Lush blackberries. Integrated oaks.Maybe another year or three in the cellar and the slighttannic bite might tame.Absolutely fantastic Malbec!About $15 retail.Note: Decant at least one, preferably two hours before enjoying. The wait is well worth it.Note 2: Did not survive vacu-vining […]

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USA, Zinfandel, Saxon Brown, Casa Santinamaria, Sonoma and Napa Valley, 2005

N/ Huge, candied barrel room. Ripe, ripe plums. Currants. Black fruits. T/ Full mouthfeel. Fat oaks. Elegant sweetness. Obese plum reduction sauce. Raspberries. Spice box. Only slight fault is a tad too sweet – maybe have at the end of your meal. Everything Jeff Gaffner makes shows extreme winemaking care, and this is no exception. Price: […]

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