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Louis M. Martini Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Louis M. Martini Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

One of Napa Valley's best kept secrets, Louis M. Martini's 2013 Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon is brimming with juicy blackberries, blackcurrants, and cassis. Leather, dried leaves, and trail dust along with an attractive top note of vanilla round out the nose. It's sleek and softly textured on the palate with fine tannins and a medium+ finish. At this point in its evolution, it's totally accessible and offers real drinking pleasure for a modest price. Sample Louis M. Martini 9.0 Points...

Au Contraire Pinot Noir 2014

Au Contraire Pinot Noir 2014

The 2014 Au Contraire Pinot Noir is vastly more charming than I expected it to be given the price point. A well-crafted Pinot for less than $25.00 is a rarity and this bottle exceeds expectations. Swoon-worthy aromas of seedy raspberry, black cherry, underbrush, dried rose petal, and warm spice surge from the glass. In the mouth, caressing layers of silky tannins gracefully enfold raspberry turnover and rhubarb compote. It's well-balanced and admittedly hard to put down. 14.3% ABV | Sample Palm Bay International 9.0 Points  ...

Ellipsis Lovett Vineyard Petite Sirah 2014

Ellipsis Red Hills Lovett Vineyard Petite Sirah 2014

Lake County wines are admittedly a new discovery for me. Thus far, the feeling is that the appellation deserves more attention than it currently sees, at least outside of California. Known for it's high-elevation mountain vineyards with predominantly volcanic soils, the wines from the AVA are graced with intensity and poise. The 2014 Ellipsis Red Hills Lovett Vineyard Petite Sirah is no exception—a powerhouse wine that conveys both richness and freshness—it's a fruit-laden core of roasted strawberries, raspberry turnover, and blackberries that is rendered more complex by a resonant undertone of blackstrap molasses that dissolves into damp earth, coffee grounds, and char. Ellipsis Wines 9.2 Points...

Robert Mondavi To Kalon Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Robert Mondavi To Kalon Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Tasted in Transylvania of all places at the ROVINHUD wine show, during a master class led by MW Patrick Farrell. The 2014 proves to be as sumptuous and profound as the 2013. Opaque as a starless night, it's a deep plunge into blueberry and crème de cassis bliss, followed by sandalwood and vanilla, dried mint and spice. Full, luscious and round on the palate—firm, chewy tannins hint at its youth—I'd give it another decade or so in the cellar. A wonderful expression of To Kalon. Sample Robert Mondavi Winery 9.6 Points...

Morlet Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Mon Chevalier 2010

Morlet Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Mon Chevalier 2010

My first Cabernet Sauvignon from Morlet Family Vineyards—I've only been lucky enough to taste and have been dazzled by their sublime Chardonnays. That said, the 2010 Mon Chevalier didn't disappoint, displaying classic Knight's Valley character, it's a treasure trove of cassis, black currants, incense and sandalwood, tar and menthol. Black pepper and spice box. The palate is a layered as the nose, with a dark-fruited succulent core framed in an understory of fine, mouth-coating tannins. 15.0% ABV Morlet Family Vineyards 9.5 Points ...

Barra Of Mendocino Petite Sirah 2014

Barra Of Mendocino Petite Sirah 2014

From old vine, estate fruit that's been organically farmed, Barra Of Mendocino's 2014 Petite Sirah is a deep dive into ruby-hued velvet. Palate drenching black cherries, plums and steeped blackberries are couched in velvety tannins. This is a soulful, baritone, and smoldering wine, imbued with incense, smoky dark chocolate, and a pinch of dried herbs and bay leaf at the close. 14.5% ABV | Sample Barra Of Mendocino 8.9 Points...

Rock Wall Wine Co. Jack's Dry Creek Petite Sirah 2014

Rock Wall Wine Co. Jack’s Dry Creek Petite Sirah 2014

Baritone and lush, the 2014 Rock Wall Jack's Dry Creek Petite Sirah is a spicy melange of juicy black cherries, plums, cedar, and bay leaf. Inky and dark in the glass, this Sonoma County Petite Syrah is equally hedonistic on the palate, a riot of black fruit and ripe tannins pierced by a jaunty vein of acidity. 14.8% ABV | Sample Rock Wall Wine Company 8.9 Points...

Inglenook Reunion Reserve Cask Cabernet Sauvignon 1986

Inglenook Reunion Reserve Cask Cabernet Sauvignon 1986

A wine that's aged gracefully, Inglenook's 1986 Reunion Cabernet Sauvignon is line with other Napa Valley Cabs I've tasted from that era. Poured from a magnum, the nose is reveals dried rose petal, dust, leather and dried black currants. It's seems like it's reaching the end of its drinking window, though there is still plenty of enjoyment left in this bottle—lightly styled, with slightly faded black currants and cassis fleshing out the core along with black tea and dried fall leaves at the close. Inglenook 8.9 Points...

Ellipsis Red Hills Lake County Petit Sirah 2013

Ellipsis Red Hills Lake County Petite Sirah 2013

A deep plunge, Ellipsis’ 2013 Red Hills Lake County Petite Sirah is subdued on the nose. What it lacks in aromatic intensity, it makes up for on the palate. The effect is enveloping—a surge of black fruit, powerful and baritone in tempo, shot through with swirling embers, dried herbs, cedar, spice and a well-structured acidic heart. 15.3% ABV | Sample Ellipsis Wines 9.0 Points...

Matthiasson Napa Valley Ribolla Gialla 2013

Matthiasson Napa Valley Ribolla Gialla 2013

I was fortunate to have spent time with Steve Matthaisson and his wife, Jill Klein last Wednesday. The 2013 Napa Valley Ribolla Gialla had only been bottled that morning, and needs to rest for three to six months before it will be released. I did taste through several of their wines on this visit, including the 2012 Ribolla Gialla, which is outstanding. My advice to you: snap it up when it's available, this is small lot production at it's best and Matthiasson wines are unique and spectacular in every sense. Sample Matthiasson 9.3 Points...