Napa Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Napa Valley, USA

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I would describe the color as ‘peachy’.  The nose does in fact offer up some peach stone, banana and pineapple. Intriguing.  On the palate I get more stone fruits, some pear and a citrusy hint.  The acidity is very subdued here, which is a welcome change.  The mouthfeel, especially on the midpalate is very nice, gentle and somewhat unctuous on the tail end.  The finish is very refreshing with green pear and a lemon component.  This wine certainly has a lot going on with a very easy going structure.  I’m really enjoying it while cooking up some pasta that will be finished with lobster and fresh veggies.  89 points and for $14 this will be a repeat 4 star wine.  Salut….

Pagos del Rey Condado de Oriza Reserva 2011, Ribera del Duero, Spain

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Dark purple in the glass.  An intriguing nose of Cloves, black pepper and blackberry.  On the palate- dark berries, ink, dust.  Delicious.  The mid palate is a smooth transition to some blue fruits including a plum reduction.  The finish has some very fine grained tannins and blueberry compote.  A very intricate wine that needs a cellar imho. Drink from 2018 to 2025.  90 points and 4 stars for this $20 effort.  Salut….

Pagos del Rey Condado de Oriza Reserva

Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec 2015, Lujan de Cuyo, Argentina

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I have been a fan of Trivento for a while now and have reviewed several vintages of the Golden Reserve Malbec.  This one is particularly good and I am glad I bought a few bottles for the cellar.  I suggest you do too!  Almost inky in the glass, it is brooding and alluring.  On the nose I’m getting blackberry, sweet plums and a touch of cedar plank.  The palate is very much dominated by black fruits and a bold tannic attack.  The blackberry component really shines through on the midpalate with a core of tannins that grip the gums.  Acidity is present but the tannins are very fresh and dominate.  The finish is medium long with a jam component and some chocolate dust.  The ever present tannins do not taper off for a while.  This wine is young but drinkable now. It will last and develop for at least 15 years.  I’m thinking it needs a Portehouse steak with au gratin potatoes and a Caeser salad.  91 points and for $22, 5 stars.  Salut…

Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec

Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Shiraz 2015, Barossa, Australia

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I splurged, $25 a bottle for Jacobs Creek.  It’s not just any JC though.  In the glass it is dark, brooding and enticing. Rich, ripe plums on the nose with port wine accent.  It smells the business.  On the palate, it is super smooth and exhibits rich blackberries, plum extract, caramel, vanilla and a nice toast.  The midpalate transition is seamless and the wine continues on to a very long finish.  I’m astounded at the depth and purity of this wine. The balance is good but there are barely detectable tannins to go up against the slight acidity.  That’s what gives this wine a great mouthfeel, yet detracts from its cellaring potential.  It is the style of wine that I would use to introduce a novice red-wine drinker to.  Easy on the tannins, the dryness and the acidity.  This wine drinks beautifully now and will run well for another 5 years, till 2022.  I would serve it with a rich stew, grilled lamb chops or perhaps a very well seasoned Cornish Hen.  I’m going 91 points and 4 stars.  Salut….

Jacob's Creek Double Barrel Shiraz

Dutton-Goldfield Spectrum Red NV, Russian River Valley, USA

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Very dark purple for a Pinot?  On the nose- it screams heavy duty new world Pinot Noir- Except it isn’t.   I was misled by the bartender who stated it was PN, not a blend of Zin, Syrah and Pinot Noir.  No wonder I was confused!

Strawberry, raspberry, a touch of wood, and some espresso bean comes across on the nose.  On the palate it’s a whole lotta strawberry meets cherry jam and reb currant coulis.  Very rich and flavorful.  This is not a subtle wine, more like ‘HELLO, IT’S ME!’

I like this wine, a lot- albeit it’s not my preferred style.  It offers depth, muscle, extraction and is not afraid to show it.  The mid palate continues the same theme as does the long finish.  Some would say this is one -dimensional, I like it every so often.  It is focused on its core elements and sticks with it.  The tannins are barely perceptible as is the acidity.  Drinking beautifully now, I would pair it with Filet Mignon and creamed Swiss Chard, perhaps a roasted duck with earthy veggies.  Deelish and worthy of 92 points from me.  I think it can be found for around $20, which makes it a steal.  (My rating was way higher than others, I guess I must see something in this wine.)  5 stars.  Salut….

Dutton-Goldfield Spectrum Red

Domaine Louis Boillot Clos de la Chapelle 2008, Volnay Premier Cru, France

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I wrote about the 2008 Louis Boillot Volnay back in 2012 and promised to re-taste.  It was not a year later, but several.  Anyway, here goes.

Almost an orange purple see-through complexion.  Signs of middle age perhaps?  The nose has an earthiness to it alongside cranberries, strawberries and some wheat kernels.  You probably never saw that one as a descriptor!  The wine tastes much better than I remember, with a nice intro to some strawberry, barnyard and green peppers. It is very smooth with barely perceptible tannins until they reach a crescendo on the finish.  The wine’s acidity is on pointe with a nice cut to it.  The mid palate is all about secondary flavors.  The development is a treat.  This wine has evolved very nicely from what I thought was atypical Burgundy, into the quintessential Pinot Noir that defines Old World charm and character.  I am loving it!  I paid $40 per bottle back in the day and it looks like I ordered 6 bottles, I am hoping to cellar dive and come up with the other 4!  92 points and 5 stars.  Salut….

louis billet volley Close de la Chapelle

Croft Fine Ruby Port, Portugal

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Nearly black in the glass, which is what I expected from a Ruby Port.  The nose is fresh, full of spice, dark plums and rich leather.  The palate is delicious, with warm plum ganache, spice box and an earthy tobacco note that I am finding very interesting.  The mid palate exhibits a slight bitterness, like almond seed, plus some caramelized plum essence.  The finish is delicious, in fact, the best part of this package.  Nice warm plums, some more earth and a touch of tobacco and cedar.  The spiciness is an interesting addition.  It takes this wine to the 91 point level for me.  At $16 this is a must buy if you  like the Ruby style Ports.  I’m buying more. 5 stars and a great post dinner treat .  Salut….

Cono Sur Bicicleta Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Chile

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If you read my previous post on the 2015 Cono Sur Cab, you will recall that I ended up with two different vintages from the store.  The 2016 is much darker purple, more extracted with heavier oak on the nose which disappoints me.  I don’t like too much of the stuff.

On the palate, a much different story.  Rich, thick plums alongside blackberry jam and oak shavings.  The midpalate offers up black fruits and a tapenade note.  The finish is short, with some black fruits and gentle tannins.  This version is not as balanced and smooth as the 2015.  It’s still a good deal though and should be on everyone’s party stocking list.  I’m thinking dry rubbed ribs, burgers or even shish kebabs would pair nicely here.  88 points form me and for $9, 4 stars all day long.  No picture taken BTW.  Salut….

Cono Sur Bicicleta Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Chile

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I bought two bottles of the Cono Sur Cabernet Sauvignon but didn’t realize I had two vintages…. so here goes the 2015.

Very nice purple in the glass.  The nose is of ripe plums, bursting violets and a blackberry component.  On the palate I get blackberry, currants, cinnamon and some earthy notes.  The wine is easy to drink with slight tannins, moderate acidity and a good mouthfeel.  The midpalate has some very nice dark cherry notes with a touch of oak.  The tail end is shortish but nice; green olives and cherry come to mind.  Overall a very serviceable wine that gets 89 points from me and 5 stars for its $9 price tag.  Drink now for best results.  Salut….

cons sur bicicleta cabernet sauvignon

Domaine Jean Fery & Fils Les Vergelesses 2010, Savigny-les-Beaune Premier Cru, France

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I don’t think I have seen a lighter opacity in a wine before.  It is see-through and barely purple, more of a red. After a swirl in the BAG (Big Assed Glass), shaped like a tulip and made specially for Burgundy wines- I get an amazing cherry meets forest floor and mushrooms kinda scent.  Strawberries feature, but only just.  On the palate, super smooth offerings of violet, bing cherry, some acidity and a touch of dryness.  The mid palate has an earthier component to it and the mushrooms pop up again.  The acidity is prevalent here and continues to makes its presence known throughout the rather long finish.  This is an elegant wine that is still too young at 7 years of age.  It will mellow more and develop some nice secondary flavors IMHO.  I would drink until 2025 at the least if not more.  I’m grilling up some bourbon/honey marinated skirt steaks and sauteed creamy Kale.  I think the combo will work.  I reckon this is a 91 point effort that gets 4 stars for its $40 quality to price ratio.  Salut….

Domaine Jean Fery & Fils Les Vergelesses, Savigny-les-Beaune Premier Cru