Vultour Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Napa Valley, California

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Bright purple in color and fully opaque.  On the nose I get lush blackberry, iodine, tar and currants.  The initial palate is very round and mouthfilling.  Black currants, fresh tannins and violets. The mid palate is quite dry with more black fruits, oolong tea, tar and mocha.  The finish is quite tannic and long.  Ribena, black berries and tea take center stage.  There’s a smokiness from the oak that hits rights at the end as well as some Sasafrass.  A really delicious, medium weight Napa Cab. 91 points and 4 stars for this $118 dazzler.  Drink till 2028 with some grilled meat.  Salut….

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Alpha Omega Cabernet Franc – Petit Verdot 2016, Napa Valley, USA

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Stunning purple in the glass with nice thin legs.  On the nose I get a huge dose of black currants, black berries and oaky vanilla.  Mint also makes an appearance.  On the initial palate it is really juicy with black fruits galore.  Beautiful oak is well integrated with coconut flavors present.  The tannic structure shows a gradual ramp up to reach a drying peak on the finish.  The mid palate is lush and fruity with some black tea, cassis, more coconut and capsicum.  The finish is dry with those nice tannins really gripping.  There’s a very balancing, juicy acidity that I’m really enjoying.  This wine begs to be drunk, it is a stunning example of how delicious Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot are as the prime components in wine.  93 points and 5 stars for this $104 stunner.  Drink till 2030.

Dominio de Eguren Protocolo Vino Tinto de la Tierra de Castilla 2017, Spain

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Dark shade of purple with nice legs.  Almost opaque.  On the nose I get red currant, violets, iodine and plum. On the palate it presents with red and black fruits, a touch of oak and black licorice.  The mid palate has some black tea, raspberries and tannins that coat with a tarry taste.  The finish is quite tart with some juicy acidity.  It gives the mouthfeel some cut to the drying tannins, which peaks on the finish.  Black cherry is the final note on this 89 point wine.  Drink till 2022.  For $7, this Tempranillo is a steal that gets 5 stars.  Salut….

The Cleaver Red Blend 2017, Amador County, California

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This is the 5th wine in the SplashWines lineup.  A blend from Amador County, which has been showing some real quality of late.  This one is a nice purple hue in the glass and is semi-opaque.  On the nose I get pepper, plum, mocha and blackberries.  The initial palate is interesting, a touch sweet from cassis and spice.  It has some zest to it, I like that.  The mid palate has some tar, more dark fruits and a charcoal note.  Very lithe tannins appear and there is a nice acidity to the wine.  The tar and spice components carry through to the finish, but there is an astringency that hits me, some greenness.  It’s not all bad, as the sweet cassis nullifies it.  The finish is quite tart, with good length.  Overall this is a decent bottle that gets 89 points from me.  Drink with summer BBQ, perhaps pizza and definitely a red pasta.  For $15 it’s a 3 star Zinfandel blend that includes some Petite Sirah and Syrah.  Drink now.  Salut….

Louis Latour Corton Grand Cru 2007, Cote de Beaune, France

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It’s a really nice reddish shade and totally see-through.  The nose is gorgeous- strawberry, cherry, earth and game.  On the initial palate I get rich red cherry reduction, leather, mushroom, forest floor- all flavors I was hoping for in an aged Pinot from Burgundy.  The mid palate shows me red currants, more cherry, crisp acidity and a very fine grained tannic structure.  There is a green streak on the finish that gives it a bit of zing but is dominated by tart cherry and pomegranate.  This wine is very complex and layered.  The finish is long and mouth watering.  I am really enjoying it and think it is at peak, drinking well for at least another decade.  Filet Mignon is on tap for the pairing.  92 points from me but I have no pricing info.  New vintages are going for over $85.  I would give it 5 stars, the cellaring has rewarded me well.  Salut….

Angela Estate Pinot Noir 2015, Yamhill-Carlton District, USA

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This Pinot is quite dark, and barely see-through in the glass.  The nose gives me gobs of New World cherry, strawberry and licorice.  On the palate I get cherry, a woodsy, earthy note and some spices, cinnamon in particular.  The mid palate is quite smooth with rhubarb, cherry and crunchy acidity.  The finish is fruit driven with red berries and cherry carrying gentle tartness to a medium length ending.  It has a decent flavor profile and is typical of the region- somewhat more full bodied than say Burgundy, more red fruit, a touch of earthiness and it’s growing on me.  I would go 90 points for this $35 offer that gets 4 stars from me.  I’m pairing with rack of Lamb and grilled Zucchini.  Drink till 2025.  ps. this was the 4th bottle from my Splashwines delivery.  Salut….

Cameron Hughes Lot 693 Barolo 2011, Piemonte, Italy

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Semi opaque with a dark red hue.  On the nose I get dark cherries, beautiful oak, raspberry and dried herbs.  On the palate there’s an immediate thrust of leather, tobacco and cherry.  It is a touch tart but mouthwatering.  The cherry theme continues onto the mid palate where I also get a good thwack of tannins.  Wow, this wine is a cherub.  Creosote, black plums and that tart cherry all mingle on the palate and I sense this wine is not yet close to maturity.  The finish is long, tannic, tart and fruity with those cherries galore, some sage and more leather.  I regret opening this wine so young, but I will get more for the cellar.  Tonight I will pair it with Sous Vide Ribeyes, probably the best combo I could think of for this tannic monster Nebbiolo.  Drink from 2025 to 2030 at the least.  92 points and 5 stars for this $39 beauty.  Salut….

Bodegas Nekeas Vega Sindoa Merlot 2018, Navarra, Spain

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The third SplashWine in the lineup is a Merlot from Spain.  It’s a dull shade of purple and nearly see through.  On the nose I get cherry, raspberry and oregano.  On the initial palate it is somewhat sweet with cherry juice, more red fruit melange and tart acid.  The mid palate is not so sweet and the proper flavors come around.  Raspberries and sour cherry are more like it.  The wine finishes quickly, with some red fruit, crunchy tartness and a trace of tannins.  83 points from me and 1 star for this $12 wine.  Salut….

Barboursville Vineyards Malvaxia 2007, Virginia, USA

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Golden brown in the glass, appropriate for a 13 year old.  On the nose it has hazelnut, honey, orange peel, quince and Marmalade.  The palate is quite tart with orange reduction, more honey, nuts, nutmeg and Cointreau.  It’s nicely balanced with acidity, fruit, unctuous mouthfeel and loads of orange Marmalade.  The thickness of the wine is really delicious, it gives warmth and body to the elixir.  The mid palate concentrates on the oranges, with the sweetness of honey and apricots.  The finish is medium in length but full on with more oranges, sweet syrup and some tart acidity that balances out the sugars.  91 points. Drink now till 2030.  Delicious, a real treat after all these years in the cellar.  Newer vintages can be had for $35 per half bottle.  5 stars.  Salut….

Baywood Cellars Classic Red NV, California

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Number 2 from SplashWines is this non-vintage blend that rings the bells at 13.5%.  Semi opaque with a reddish tint in the glass.  The nose is intriguing- strawberries, by the bucketful.  Red currants and sweet pomegranate to boot.  Oh…. and Apricots.  Yup- Apricots.  The palate is very unique, a touch sweet but very red fruit forward.  It’s a very interesting flavor profile. The mid palate is very easy going, red Twizzlers and a touch of cherry cola.  The acidity is very gentle which makes up for the lack of much tannin.  The finish is more cherry and rhubarb with that crispy acidity adding zest.  It’s decent in length and tasty.  I must say I was a bit biased when I unscrewed this bottle, but I reckon it’s very easy going, fun to drink and will appeal to the novice as well as anyone coming over for a barbecue.  This is a $13 party wine and it gets 86 points from me. 3 stars. Drink now.  Salut….