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1
Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2013

I think the wine of the vintage, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Columbia Valley is flat out sensational, and flirts with perfection. Its inky ruby/purple color is followed by incredible notes of cassis, black currants, smoked herbs, licorice and graphite. These give way to a full-bodied, utterly seamless Cabernet that has full-bodied richness, ultra-fine tannin and a killer finish. While it possesses the elegance and purity of the vintage, it has a stacked mid-palate, and deserves 4-5 years of cellaring. It will have two decades or more of overall longevity. - Wine Advocate 99 Points

 Wine Advocate: 99
2
Lismore Syrah 2014

Cassis, blackberry and cherry. White pepper, ground herbs and the strong floral perfume of crushed violets. Light and elegant, but structured with fresh acidity.

40% Whole bunch ferment in small open vats. 60% destemmed and fermented in a 5000 ltr wooden fermenter with gentle pigeage (punch down of the cap) throughout. Pressed in a traditonal wooden basket press and racked into a 3000 litre oak vat for 9 months.

 


Review:

The 2014 Syrah is 40% whole bunch fermented and matured in older, small barrel and then transferred into 3,000-liter fermenters for six months to capture the aromatics. It has a fascinating nose, very floral and expressive, with cranberry, rose petals, marmalade and white fennel that you would swear comes from some old Rhône. Fabulous. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, a little tighter than the aromatics, and brimming over with character. There is fruit here, but the smorgasbord of Provençal white fennel, sage and fynbos is all over the place. This is one of the best Syrahs I have encountered from South Africa. 

Samantha O'Keefe is living the dream. That's not to say things have been easy for the ex-Californian on the outskirts of Greyton. You know what they say about how to make a small fortune in wine. The competition is fierce when you start out. I mean, how do you distinguish yourself from the crowd? One way is to splash lots of money on marketing. Another is to price your wine at a silly price in the hope of persuading people that it must be good. Of course, you can just make bloody good wine, which is the route that Samantha wisely took. 

I still remember meeting her for the first time at a busy tasting in London. I remarked how good I thought her wines were. I felt as it was the first time her wines had been complemented, a third party validation that she was doing things the right way and it was paying off in the quality of her wines. And since then, over the last two or three years, it's been great to see both Lismore and Samantha gain more and more recognition. Her recent releases, which I tasted at the Cape Show with Samantha, continue to furrow that path of cool-climate white and reds. Perhaps in the past I have focused more on the white. On this occasion, I was blown away by her 2014 Syrah that was galvanized by the 40% whole bunch ferment, manifesting a truly complex Syrah, one of the best you will find. - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 94 Points

 Wine Advocate: 94
3
Krutz Family Sonoma County Chardonnay 2013

Bright and light golden-yellow in color. Exotic and sweet vanilla bean aromatics backed by pear and kiwi with a slight orange peel. The palate resonates with texture and depth as stone minerality and cream brioche to match. Flavors of roasted plantains, gravenstein apple, and lemon zest frame the wine for a long yet soft finish.

Planted in the early 90’s, this is the coolest vineyard site in the Russian River Valley, located at Lee Martinelli Sr.’s home ranch in Forestville, CA. After riding around with Lee in his pick-up truck when we visited his Woolsey Road, Zio Tony, and River Road Vineyards, he decided to take me to this gem. He kept this particular vineyard in his back pocket until we hit it off. We did, and I think you’ll enjoy the ride as well.


Review:

Elusively crisp and inviting on the nose, this is a thickly intriguing wine, floral in orange blossom and fresh apple. Structured and lengthy, it retains a tangy acidity and structured finish, the grapes sourced from a dry-farmed vineyard. - Wine Enthusiast 92 Points

 Wine Enthusiast: 92
4
Begude Bandol Rouge 2014

Begude Bandol Rouge is made from 90% Mourvèdre, 10% Grenache.

Eye: dark ruby colored

Nose: Intense, aromatic, fresh and elegant

Mouth: Structured on black fruits flavors, lightly woody , tanins are strong an firm in their early days (<5years) Good acidity give freshness backbone and great fruit/alcoholic balance . Delicate final on spices.

Opening: Decant 4-6 hours before serving

Soil: Clay-limestone Culture: Organic without pesticides nor chemicals additives Yield: 20 hectoliters/hectare Harvest: Manual in small cases Winemaking: Double sorting, 100% destemming, skin contact, with daily sticking in order to optimize color and aromatic extraction Alcoholic fermentation 15 days followed by malo lactic fermentation. Aging: 18 months in oak cask Bottling:  

Grilled lamb, meat cooked with sauce, southern French cuisine and tasty dishes (tajines, couscous, paellas).

 

 
5
Thorn Clarke William Randell Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

​Thorn Clarke William Randel Cabernet is made from 100 percent Cabernet

Deep red in colour. The nose is lifted and expressive with lovely Christmas cake and mint characters along with black olives and tobacco leaf adding complexity. The palate is medium to full bodied with blueberry and hints of cassis as the primary fruit flavours. The palate has great poise with the vibrant fruit, spicy French oak and fine tannin structure all wonderfully balanced, and the wine finishes with great length of fruit.


Review:

Eden Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from an excellent vintage. Deep, dark fruit crashes over firm, ropey tannin. To say that this will live and mature over a long period is an understatement. Mint, cassis, clovey oak, undergrowth. A substantial wine with a substantial future. - The Wine Front 94 Points 

Raymond Chan, NZ, April 2016

 Dark, deep, near saturated black-red colour with a touch of garnet on the edge. The nose is very firm and tightly bound with concentrated aromas of blackberry fruit harmoniously entwined with layers of menthol and cedar, revealing nuances of eucalypt, black olives and cassis. The aromatics build in intensity with aeration. Full-bodied, the palate features a firm and tightly concentrated heart with layers of rich and lusciously sweet, blackcurrant fruit with cassis, blackberries, menthol. mint and cedar. The palate is well-constructed with plenty of fine-grained tannin extraction forming a firm and dense core, with integrated acidity lending tension and drive, and enhancing the fruit sweetness. The structure carries the flavours to a long, lingering finish. This is a finely concentrated, firm, but fine-grained Cabernet Sauvignon with sweet blackcurrant fruit and layers of cassis, menthol, mint and cedar. Serve with lamb and beef, and with hard cheeses over the next 7-10 years. Fruit from ‘Milton’ Park, Eden Valley, fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 16 months in French oak hogsheads. -18.5/20 Raymond Chan, NZ, April 2016

 
 94 Points
6
Trombetta Gaps Crown Pinot Noir 2012

Rich garnet color. Aromas of vanilla, clove and cooking spices with hints of ripe berry, pomegranate and toast. Soft entry, balanced tannin and berry fruit mingled with pleasant acidity and lingering finish.


Review:

Dark, concentrated and grippy, this is a sizable Pinot from a cool, coveted vineyard. Juicy blue and blackberry fruit dominate on the nose and palate, surrounded by exotic cedar, clove, oak and toffee, a swipe of vanilla lurking behind the front flavors. The big tannins will appreciate time in the cellar, through 2022–2024. - Virginie Boone" - Wine Enthusiast (February 1st 2015), 95 pts

 Wine Enthusiast: 95
7
Bernardins Beaumes de Venise Rouge Cru Cotes du Rhone 2014

Bernardins Beaumes de Venise Rouge Cru Cotes du Rhone is made from 65% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre and 5% Grenache Blanc.

Bright ruby color with cherry tinges. Complex black fruit aromas on the nose enhanced by spicy notes. Rounded palate with good length.

The wine is drinking well right now and can be kept for another 10 years.

Situation
Spreads out over the south-east side of the Dentelles de Montmirail hills, in Beaumes de Venise in the southern part of the Rhone valley.

Terroir
On a poor sandy, hungry and arid soil consisting of tender limestone and gritty zones of sandy mollasse.

In the vineyard
The vineyards and their terroir are the essence of our wines. This is where everything starts and where we focus our efforts throughout the year. You can’t make great wine without great grapes.

The viticulture is essentially done by hand. Five people work full-time in the vineyards. They are supplemented by seasonal employees who work during bunch thinning and the harvest in order to bring out the very best in our vines. Working by hand and the attention each vine gets are fundamental. Pruning, de-budding, trellising, leaf removal and picking are thus carried out by hand with the utmost care.

We prepare the soil by using good old-fashioned ploughing. Organic compost is made from grape marc (the discarded stalks and skins).

As a way of protecting the plants, we only use phytosanitary products when necessary and within strict guidelines by staggering the treatments appropriately, to minimise the amount of chemicals used. We prefer to use as much as possible manual and organic techniques . Leaving natural grass cover, removing buds and leaves from the vines, preserving biodiversity around the vineyard: olive, almond and cypress trees, wild rosemary and capers.

Winemaking
We make two red wines at the estate. Terroir wines shaped by the two classic Côtes du Rhône varieties: Grenache and Syrah. We don’t follow any winemaking recipe but are constantly searching for the perfect expression of terroir and each vintage’s particular characteristics. We don’t go for overripe grapes and over-extraction, as we think the wine has to stay refreshing and balanced.

Leaving the wine for 15 days in concrete vats, we try to gently extract the tannins and anthocyanins essential for the wine’s structure and colour. The wine doesn’t come into any contact with wood during ageing. This way the characteristics of our terroir can fully express

Serve with a meal especially red meat, game and cheese.

 



8
Big Table Farm Chardonnay 2013

Barrel fermented in mixed age French oak producing a medium clear lemon color. This wine has a luminescent, straw color with a subtle sheen. Meyer lemon, white nectarine, baking spice, and salt water taffy on the nose. The palette offers up warm oak spice, sandalwood, and stone fruit.

With a lemon-butter-cream texture, this wine is lush yet still very bright and fresh. Lively acidity, with a custard type of roundness/richness, and the warm oak spice follows through on the pallet. Delicious balance between richness and freshness.

As with all our whites, this wine will reward you for cellaring.


Reviews:

94 points — Wine & Spirits Magazine
Year's Best Chardonnay — Wine & Spirits Magazine
93 points — Wineanorak

Light and sleek, this refined style unfurls pear, floral and spice flavors gracefully. This has presence and elegance. Drink now through 2018. 476 cases made. - 91 Point Wine Specator

 

 Wine Spectator: 91 94 Points
9
Alain Jaume Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge Vieux Terron 2015

Alain Jaume Chateauneuf Du Pape Rouge Vieux Terron is made from 85% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre

An intense purple color is followed by ripe red fruit aromas, such as sweet black cherry.
The palate reveals clearly the aromatic complexity: spices and black fruit are boasted with soft tannins. The finish is long with aromatic hints of liquorice and pepper. Red raspberries, star anise and hints of cinnamon.

It will accompany game, red meat or meat in sauce and strong cheeses.

10
Manoir Carra Beaujolais Cru Brouilly 2016

Manoir du Carra Beaujolais Cru Brouilly is 100% Gamay.

Deep red ruby colored wine with red fruit aromas of strawberry, raspberry and floral notes of violet. Ample in the mouth, supple tannins.

Parcels in the lieu-dit "Combiaty", within the village of St Etienne la Varenne. The soils are dry, made of pink granite which gives the wine its tipicity.

The average age of the vines is 50 years.
Yield is 45-50hl/ha
Manual harvest; Aging on the lees in foudre for 3-4 months; Slight filtration.

   

 
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Chateau Castegens Cotes de Bordeaux Castillon 2015

Chateau Castegens Cotes de Bordeaux Castillon is made from 80% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon

Intense and deep vivace red color. 
Nose with black fruit, blackberry, cigar box, licorice, some delicate and integrated oak flavors as well.
In the mouth, we have an explosion of fruit flavors, spice and fine wood. The structure is rich, but the tannins are well integrated already. The finish is long and a slight mintiness give the wine a great length and some purity.

Located on top of a South facing steep vineyard, with great natural water drainage and an excellent sun exposure.
Harvest was conducted by machine in order to get the maximum ripeness. 
Then everything was sorted at the winery in order to get only the best fruit in the tanks.

Wine was aged in French Oak Barrels for 12 months.