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Friday, February 4, 2011

2007 Plumpjack Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville


A haunting dark red color in the glass with violet hues.  Big bold nose of blackberry, plum, espresso beans, chili and chocolate.  Very polished feeling in the mouth which was a lovely surprise for the medium/high tannins.  Full bodied and juicy, predominent flavor of blackberry, olive, smoky oak and cola.  Long and memorable medium spicy finish.  Approachable now and easily for the next 15 years.

Score:  94

www.plumpjackwinery.com

NV ChocoVine


I had seen this at one of my favorite wine shops for many months, and had spoken to the salesman on more than one occasion about this.  To say I was skeptical would be an understatement.  I do like chocolate and love Cabernet, but was uncertain how the two would blend in the glass.  This wine is blended in Holland by Team Products, a division of DeKuyper. 

This is 14% ABV and a rich blend of Dutch chocolate and French Cabernet.  Found this to be best served chilled and best as an after dinner sipper.  I've read reviews where people mix it with ice cream as a tasty treat.  I've used this in my morning coffee on many occasions and it adds incredible flavor.  If you want to try something different and very tasty, pick up a bottle for around $10 US and serve it at your next dinner party for some great conversation!

Score:  85

www.chocovine.com

Thursday, February 3, 2011

2009 Villa Maria Single Vineyard Graham Sauvignon Blanc

Golden yellow with a slight greenish hue in the glass.  Wonderful potent nose of dew laden grass, lime, tropical fruits and wet stone.  Powerful and lively palate with lime, mineral components, a touch of lemon and cut grass.  Very crisp and refreshing and a style all of its own with an incredibly long finish.  Well priced at around $24 US and should drink well the next 24 months.

Score:  92

www.villamaria.co.nz

2006 Oliver Winery Reserve Shiraz

Great solid dark red color in the glass all the way to the edge.  Lively nose of ripe plum, blackberry and spice.  Nice full mouth feel of dark fruits, chocolate, mocha and pepper and medium tannins that finish effortlessly, lingering for moments and beyond.  Just the right amount of oak and spicy characteristics that allow the fruit to shine.  This is a library release for Oliver and one you'll want to get!  This wine will surely continue to evolve in the bottle.  Very approachable now and will be interesting to see how this continues to develop in the next 3 - 4 years.

Score:  92

www.oliverwinery.com

2007 Hollywood and Vine Cabernet Sauvignon "2480"


2007 was generally a fantastic growing season for Cabernet Sauvignon and the juice from Napa Valley is just wonderfully complex and flavorful.  That's what you get in this dark violet, wonderfully aromatic 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.  I'm a sucker for 100% Cabernet and this is a stellar example!  There's so much dark fruit, vanilla, chocolate, cedar and tobacco leaf on the nose that you can't wait to get this in your mouth.  And when you do, you'll find a plethora of dark juicy fruits, a touch of soy sauce, black currant and cherry flavored pipe tobacco.  Big, slighty dusty an oaky tannins linger in the mouth for moments.  Beautiful.  The best drinking frame is in the next 5-7 years, but this one will last for another 15 years if you want to hold off for awhile.

Score:  94

www.hollywoodandvinewine.com

2006 Chateau St Jean Merlot Sonoma County


Rich and full bodied Merlot from Sonoma County.  Lots of juicy cherry going on here with dark plum and vanilla.  In the mouth you get medium spicy, cedar-soaked black cherry and plums with the vanilla and mocha with super smooth tannins.  Well balanced and very tasty.  Drink within the next 18 months for best enjoyment.

Score:  90

www.chateaustjean.com

2008 Argyle Reserve Pinot Noir


Medium dark color in the glass.  Black raspberry, black cherry, a small amount of pepper and a floral bouqet on the nose.  Very rich and juicy and the black fruit flavors integrate well with spices and cinnamon.  Very young and delicious.  This will be utterly fantastic in a couple of years......if you can wait!  Classy, smooth and delicious.

Score:  92

www.argylewinery.com

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

2007 Sequoia Grove Rutherford Bench Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon


Dark purple and running all the way to the rim.  Strained powerful aromas of blackberry, cherry pipe tobacco, all spice, and cedar.  Lots of richness on the palate including plum, blackberry, dusty earth and spices.  These flavors work so well together and are able to shine against soft and tiny smooth tannins.  Lots of layering gives you a lingering finish and a desire for more.  Available for around $65 US, this wine will drink superbly for another 10 - 12 years or more.

Score:  93

www.sequoiagrove.com

2007 Flora Springs Trilogy


This signature wine from Flora Springs exhibits a sheer majestic presence in the glass.  It is ruby to dark red and a blend of Cabernet Sauvingon, Merlot and Petit Verdot.  You get it all on the nose - blackberry, licorice, cedar, dark chocolate, leather, menthol and mocha.  The three grapes blend effortlessly to create a stunning palate of blackberry, oak, sweet plum, roasted game and spice and chocolate.  There is a finish here with silky tannins that will keep bringing you back for more.  Amazing wine and one that will drink effortlessly for 15 years or more!  I love it.

Score:  94

www.florasprings.com

2007 Joseph Phelps Insignia


The best way to describe this wine is hedonism in a bottle.  Haunting and intriguing dark amost black in the glass.  Firm and serious business, this wine combines wet graphite, blackberries, cassis, cedar and a flutter of dried violets on the nose.  The mouth is big and powerful with wonderfully integrated flavors of blackberry, blueberry, spice, licorice, dried figs and cocoa.  Incredible texture in a medium tannic finish that feels surprisingly smooth for its youth.  This is, in my opinion, the best wine ever produced by Joseph Phelps.  If you're looking for a cellar worthy wine (25 years, no problem) or looking for a long term investment, spend the $160 per bottle and wait.

Score:  99

www.jpvwines.com

2007 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon


Deep ruby red with wonderful aromas of sweet plum, cassis, oak and dark chocolate.  Very full bodied wine with a full mouth feel.  Again with plum and cassis on the palate, joined with dried herb and floral flavors and wet mineral undertones.  Nice small but medium tannins on a pleasant finish.  Drink well for 15 years or more.

Score:  92

www.jpvwines.com

Monday, January 31, 2011

2008 A to Z Oregon Pinot Noir

Deep colored red Pinot Noir from a great vintage.  The nose is bashful at first, but after some time in the glass, layers of black cherry and raspberry present themselves with mineral, dried flowers and spices.  In the mouth is a medium bodied wine with more of the same fruit flavors, spices, light pepper and a chalky dusty medium tannin that lingers for a long time.  Delicious and intriguing.  This will drink very well for the next 5 - 7 years and can be found for under $20 US at many retailers.

Score:  93

www.atozwineworks.com

Sunday, January 30, 2011

NV Chateau Thomas Winery Classic Chardonnay

Great every day drinker or entry level wine for the novice wine drinker.  Tropical fruits, oak and lemon lime zest in the glass.  Forward fruit flavor and a golden color.  Serving well chilled, this is a great sipper with friends in the warm months and can be enjoyed with or without food.  A real refresher.  If you like white wine of any style, you will probably like this one.  A great bargain at around $11 US.

Score:  87

www.chateauthomas.com

1991 Chateau Thomas Winery Chardonnay


Yes, you are reading this right.  This is a 1991 Chardonnay!  I've tasted this several times, and before I did, I had no idea a Chardonnay could be aged for 20 years!  This library release from the Chateau Thomas Winery is a fine example of a classic Chardonnay comparable to many I've tasted from Napa.  Very firm for its age, dry and gorgeous golden in the glass, this delicious food accompaniment has a muted nose compared to young Chardonnay.  But in the glass you get a medium crisp, dry wine with layers of lemon, melon and lightly toasted bread.  You can buy this directly from the winery for around $25 US while it lasts. 

Score:  92

www.chateauthomas.com

2008 Chateau Thomas Winery Petit Verdot


This Chateau Thomas Petit Verdot is just an outstanding example of a wine that can stand on its own.  Petit Verdot is often used to blend in Cabernet Sauvignon to soften the rough edges.  This dark violet colored wine has blackberry and juicy cherry in the glass with a wonderful strong aroma of chocolate and a little pencil lead.  In the mouth, this is a very full feeling black fruit wine with vanilla and chocolate, combined with medium fine tannins for a lengthy and delicious finish.  If you've never had a Petit Verdot, you'll be doing yourself a favor if you try this!

Score:  93

www.chateauthomas.com

NV Chateau Thomas Winery Teroldego


Tasted twice over a three week period with consistent notes.  This "Dragon's Blood" wine is a rare find in the United States, and this Italian grape is delicious and the wine is versatile with many styles of food.  The nose is a pleasant spicy black cherry and blackberry.  There is a definite spice in the glass, but not overwhelming.  Joining the spice are the red fruits, a mild floral boquet and a hint of tar and pine.  This is one of my new favorites from Chateau Thomas Winery, and it looks like it is quickly gaining in popularity, as this was the last bottle on the shelf!

Score:  90

www.chateauthomas.com