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Tuck Beckstoffer Mad Hatter Napa Valley Red 2018

Tuck Beckstoffer Mad Hatter Napa Valley Red is made from 66%Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Old Vine Petit Sirah, 10% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot.

Under the winemaking and farming direction of Shawn Johnson and Tuck Beckstoffer, vineyard blocks were selected with a blend of micro climates and soils to highlight the best Napa Valley has to offer, creating a wine with complex aromas, purity of fruit, balance, and a long silky finish.

Since the beginning of Mad Hatter in 2003, our goal has been to craft an elegant Bordeaux blend using grapes grown throughout the Napa Valley. The 2018 vintage continues this commitment, with a sophisticated blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Old Vine Petite Sirah, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc.

Expressive aromas of black plum, wild hyacinth, and clove. The palette evolves flavors of black cherry, dark chocolate, and baking spice further enhanced by the wine’s velvety tannins, and long delicate finish. Pair this wine with pan roasted pheasant, grilled root vegetables, or a charred Ribeye steak. 

Cazaux Vacqueyras Blanc Vieilles Vignes 2019

Cazaux Vacqueyras Blanc Vieilles Vignes 50% Clairette, 30% Roussanne and 20% Viognier


The wine has a beautiful golden color.
The aromas are rich and exotic with mango, almonds, toast, lemon, pineapple white flowers and papaye. These aromas will develop to honey, butter and pear after ageing for a few years.
The finish is long, citrusy and toasty.

Terroir: Slopes of sandy soil or grey limestone.
Yield: 25 -30 hl/ha
Age of the vines: 70 years old minimum. The oldest are around 90 years old.
The grapes are pressed pneumatically after a few hours contact with the skins.The must is kept at 20°c during the alcoholic fermentation to optimise the aromas and respect the wine’s suppleness.
Barrel fermented an aged in 228-liter French Oak barrel for 12 months with regular stirrings of the lees.
MaloLactic Fermentation also in barrel.


Enjoy this wine with rich dish, river fish or poultry cooking in creamy sauce. Delicious with a mushroom risotto.





Manda Huevos Tinto Parcela Cana Andrea 2017

Manda Huevos Tinto Parcela Cana Andrea  is made from 90% Garnacha, Moristel, Bobal, Garnacha Blanca.

MANDA HUEVOS - Nowadays a vulgarism in Spanish born out of frustration meaning 'I can ́t believe it', 'get out of here' etc , but actually originating form the latin Mandat Opus meaning your are obliged to do something out of necessity. The wine reveals an intense red color with garnet reflections, a complex nose of floral aromas, ripe red fruits and liquorice with mineral and balsamic notes, aromatic herb and peppery nuances. On the palate it is long and persistent, well-balanced with juicy tannins, a remarkable fruity expression. A lovely complexity!

Pairs with oily fish (high quality tuna), paprika based dishes, duck, game.

Review:

"I tasted the 2017 Manda Huevos Tinto, which has slightly lower alcohol and more freshness, a vintage that has been bottled earlier to capture the fruit-forward character of the vintage. It's open and pretty, with a gentler palate than the 2016 which seems to have more present tannins. This has a different style but similar quality. 4,500 bottles were produced. - Luis Gutiérrez" - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #240, December 2018), 94 pts

 Wine Advocate: 94
El Cismatico Garnacha 2018

El Cismatico Garnacha is made from 100% Garnacha.

The wine is produced from 3 single vineyards - El Mimbreral, Piedra Blanca, Cerro Merino - situated between 850 to 900 meters high. These parcels share the same geological characteristics of pebble stones, red clay, marl and limestone which impart a precise and floral profile to the Garnacha grape that has achieved a balanced acidity and a low pH.

El Cismatico offers an intense ruby red in color. The nose is still very youthful, deep and complex with aromas changing every minute. Its starts out with notes of roasted meat, beets, wild red fruit, cloves, pepper. Little by little, as the wine opens the nose displays touches of crushed violets, pencil lead, black cherry and a light touch of mountain herbs. Fine, elegant and bold, the ripe fruit is exquisitely balanced by fresh acidity achieved from growing Garnacha at altitude. The tannin is firm but polished with an extremely long finish. Drinking 2022 and onwards for many years.

El Cismático is only released when the correct raw material has been achieved to make an Old Vine Garnacha with the capacity to age gracefully for years in bottle, gaining complexity along the way. The objective is to produce a wine that has the capacity to age quite happily for up to 30 years.


Philippe Milan Maranges Rouge 2018

Philippe Milan Maranges Rouge is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir. 

This is very Burgundian in style, with fruity, rich and strong flavors. This reminds me of a Marsannay Rouge, Elegant and strong at the same time, with some oak flavors, quite well integrated.

Croix Senaillet St. Veran 2019

Croix Senaillet Saint Veran  is made from 100 percent unoaked Chardonnay.

Fresh and fruity with floral, peach and citrus fruit aromas followed by mineral notes. Mineral, citrus and honey flavors. Rich and luscious palate with a long finish.

Produced from a selection of 40 parcels spread over 17 hectares. Some of the parcels include: Maillettes, Bergades, Poncétys, Terres noires, Pommards, Chênes, Surigny, Prâgnes, Bruyère, Chailloux, etc Average age of the vines is 45 years. The soil is made of clay and limestone. South, southeastern exposure - a few plateaux. Careful vinification. Minimal intervention in the vinification process. Modern equipment (pneumatic press, thermo-regulated tanks). Each parcel is harvested at full maturity. Destemming, slow press, slow fermentation, malolactic fermentation, aging on the lees.

   

Maurice Martin Macon-Villages 2019

Maurice Martin Macon-Villages is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.

White gold color with silver or greenish reflections , shiny and soft. Aromas suggest broom, acacia, green apple, lemongrass, citruses.  A fresh, dry and fruity, nervous with a good balance.

The grapes for this wine is coming from 3 famous part of the Maconnais' region: Chaintré, Pierreclos and Ozenay.

The wine went through malolactic fermentation. It has been gently filtered before bottling.

Very easy to associate with his very complete balance : grilled fish, creamy risottos, antipasti, salads, sushis, very pleasant at the aperitif.

Maurice Martin Saint-Veran 2019

Maurice Martin Saint-Veran is made from 100 percent unoaked Chardonnay.

White gold color with silver or greenish reflections , shiny and soft.  Aromas suggest broom, acacia, green apple, lemongrass, citruses. A fresh, dry and fruity, nervous with a good balance.

The grapes for this wine is coming from 2 famous part of the Saint Véran' appellation: Prissé and Davayé.

The wine went through malolactic fermentation. It has been gently filtered before bottling.

Very easy to associate with his very complete balance : grilled fish, creamy risottos, antipasti, salads, sushis, very pleasant at the aperitif.

Johann Michel Saint-Peray 2019

Made from 50% Marsanne and 50% Roussanne

Johann Michel Saint Peray Blanc has a shining golden yellow color. 

The wine is aromatic with white flowers such as acacia and honeysuckle. In the mouth, you will find some lanolin flavors as well as apricot and yellow ripe peach.
The finish is long, delicate and balanced.
It is waxy and very White Burgundy like.

Average age of the vines is 15 years old. 

Johann Michel owns 0.5 hectare (1.24 acre) of Saint Peray.

 

All planted on Granitic soil, with some schist vein. Aromatic with white flowers such as acacia and honeysuckle. In the mouth, you will find some lanolin flavors as well as apricot and yellow ripe peach. The finish is long, delicate and balanced.
It is waxy and very White Burgundy like.
 
Waxy and Burgundy like being the most important part of tasting wines in Saint-Peray. Most whites are thin and lacking interest. 
 
Great with fresh oysters, Grilled fish, Bresse Chicken cooked in a creamy sauce with morels ...

Trois Moulins Haut-Medoc 2016

Trois Moulins Haut-Medoc Cru is amde from 52% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc.

 

Average age of vines: 19 years.

Aged 8 months in French oak barrels (1 year old barrels)

This wine is ripe and firm on the palate. Flavors of black plum skin and blackberry form a rich wine that is approachable at an early age.  This wine is weighted enough to balance the intense tannins, with enough acidic structure to lift the finish.

Review:

"This offers some herbal notes with an array of red fruit and bell peppers. The palate has quite a taut build of fine tannins and delivers a sturdy, fine but firm texture at the finish. A blend of 45 per cent merlot, 40 per cent cabernet sauvignon and 15 per cent cabernet franc. Try from 2022."
- James Suckling (February 2019), 92 pts

 92 Points
Reverdy Jean Sancerre Rouge 2018 (half bottle)

Reverdy Jean Sancerre Rouge is mader from 100% Pinot Noir

The wine is spicy and juicy with cherry aromas, and proves the point that power is not necessary for a fine wine.

Review:

Decanter 90 Points

 90 Points
Bernardins Muscat Beaumes Venise VDN 2019 (half bottle)

Bernardins Muscat Beaumes Venise VDN 100% Muscat petits grains (75% Blanc, 25% Red)

Copper/rose hue and ripe soft aromas of orange, spice and flowers. The wine is full bodied with the texture of silk and flavors of orange custard, white peach, pear, apricot, toffee and orange peel.

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.

In the spirit of respecting traditional techniques and the best elements of modern technology, cellar manager Andrew Hall and his winemaker son Romain Hall take family traditions very seriously.

When making our wines, the Muscat de Beaumes de Venise plays a central role and requires great care. After picking the grapes by hand, we press them straightaway to ferment the juice without skins. We don’t add any yeasts and keep the alcoholic fermentation in check by temperature control. Vin Doux Naturel winemaking involves stopping fermentation to preserve the grapes’ natural sweetness. During vinification, we watch the vats day and night and add the fortifying spirit just at the right moment. At this stage, the wine’s final balance is at stake. The wine is then aged in stainless steel tanks for 6 months before bottling.


Review:

"Pale orange colour. Confit orange, orange blossom, lychee, a touch of brown sugar. On the palate it is exceptionally full-bodied, with acidity a little on the low side. There's firm bitterness on the finish, and it lacks the freshness of some years, if not the depth. Long finish. It really coats the mouth with sweetness and flavour. Handpicked, all pressed immediately and fermented in stainless steel without any skin contact. Wine is aged in stainless steel for six months after adding the fortifying spirit."
- Decanter (October 2019), 91 pts


Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge Vieilles Vignes 2017 (magnum)

These are Magnum bottles!

Grand Veneur Chateauneuf Du Pape Vieilles Vignes is made from 50% Grenache, 40% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah

Matured in concrete vats (40%) and oak casks (60%)

It boasts an inky/purple color in addition to a gorgeous perfume of crushed rocks, jammy black fruits, charcoal and graphite. Blackberry aroma with an air of dates pressed in alongside – this is sweet-noted. It is easy to appreciate, a sleek and stylish start. The palate holds excellent fruit that runs well and has kick. Its tannins move round freely and a minted finale comes forward. Its dark fruit is tasty, darkens on the finish, where tar and char from its oak enter. It is all very much together, a bundle of harmony, and will gain local attributes as it ages.
An outstanding Chateauneuf du Pape which display the best of its terroir.

The vines are 50 to 100+ year old. They are planted on red clay soils covered with pebble stones.

Harvest is destemmed and crushed. Fermentation temperature is controlled at 30°C. Vatting period of 18 to 20 days. Matured in concrete vats (40%) and oak casks (60%).

The vineyards are located in the north of Châteauneuf du Pape. GRAND VENEUR «Vieilles Vignes» cuvee is produced from the older vines. Thanks to time and an organic growing, roots go very deep in the soil. Yields are naturally low and grapes highly concentrated.
The vines are 50 to 100+ year old. They are planted on red clay soils covered with pebble stones.

Winemaking and aging
Harvest is destemmed and crushed. Fermentation temperature is controlled at 30°C. Vatting period of 18 to 20 days. Matured in concrete vats (40%) and oak casks (60%).

Pair with venisson, duck, braised lamb or strong cheese.

Review:

"The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Vieilles Vignes is a bigger, richer, more opulent wine. Beautiful notes of blackcurrants, scorched earth, graphite, and crushed violets, all flow to a full-bodied, Châteauneuf Du Pape that has a voluptuous, sexy texture, brilliant depth of fruit, fine tannins, and a purity of fruit that's hard to find in this vintage. It's a thrill a minute, and while it's approachable today, it will keep for 15-20 years. 416 cases."

- Jeb Dunnuck (August 16th 2019),97+ pts

 97 Points
Arzuaga Ribera del Duero La Planta 2019

Arzuaga Ribera del Duero La Planta is made from 100% Tempranillo.

Deep violet red. Clean and bright with a range of red fruits (raspberry and cherry) that dominate with a high aromatic intensity, joined by balsamic, cacao, coffee, and roasted tones. Fresh, elegant, easy, and balanced in the mouth with a lightly sweet, toasted, and pleasant aftertaste.

Fried fish, sausage, and white meats such as roasted poultry.


Review:

"A juicy, fruity red with blackberry, bark and hints of dried fruit. Medium body, linear and fine tannins and a fruity finish. Quite ripe, but a nice feel to this young wine. Better in 2020."

- James Suckling (September 2020), 91 pts


 91 Points
Arzuaga Ribera del Duero Reserva 2016

Arzuaga Reserva is made from 95% Tempranillo, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Merlot.

Clean and bright ruby red with purple reflections. Great aromatic intensity, complex and elegant, where the compote of red fruits dominates. The palate is structured with silky, sweet tannins and a lingering finish. 

Ideal with red meats (big game), roasted white meat, and blue cheese.

Review:

Plenty of cherry, smoky oak and bark on the nose, following through to a full body with round, chewy tannins that are laden with some vanilla-bean highlights. Creamy and nicely textured. Drink or hold."

- James Suckling (October 2020), 92 pts


 92 Points
Arzuaga Reserva Especial 2015

Arzuaga Reserva Especial is made from 95% Tempranillo and 5% Albillo.

The wine shows an intense, deep red with purple nuances. Complex, concentrated, and intense on the nose with aromas of ripe black fruits, mint, and cocoa. A mineral and light background of toasted and caramelized tones dominate. Very elegant and complex aromas that evolve favorably throughout the tasting. In the mouth it is fresh and gentle. Elegant mouthfeel, fresh and well-textured, and a long finish that recalls the fruity, spicy and caramelized aromas.

Pair with red meats, roasted or in sauce, ground or bird game, soft or lightly cured cheeses and Bluefish. Alternatively, try to leave a little for the end of the meal and enjoy it with a dessert of dark chocolate.

Arzuaga Ribera del Duero Gran Reserva 2010

Arzuaga Gran Reserva 95% Tempranillo, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Merlot.

Presenting a ruby red color, this wine has a wide range of aroma of ripe fruit compote, toast, and leather. Fine, complex, and attractive with a great balance. Silky and pleasant in the mouth with a bit of spice detected in the finish.

Serve with red meats, roasts, or game dishes. Its flavor is enhanced with cured or fatty cheeses.

Review:

"A beautiful, opulent 2010 with layers of ripe fruit, such as plums, but lots of chocolate and vanilla character. It’s full-bodied and intense with lots of fruit and vanilla at the end. Slightly old-school, but showing opulence. Drink or hold."

- James Suckling (October 2020), 93 pts


 93 Points
Luis Canas Rioja Crianza 2017

Luis Canas Rioja Crianza is made from 95% Tempranillo and 5% Garnacha

A classic style Rioja from one of the regions most enduring family run wineries.. The hillside terraced vineyards are sheltered by the Sierra Cantabria Mountains to the north from harsh weather extremes. Small plot production is utilized in this region of infertile chalky clay soil to produce clusters of excellent quality. Almost 900 plots are needed to complete the approximately 400 hectares of estate-owned or cellar-controlled vineyards, some with vines more than 100 years in age.

Tasting notes
Made from 95% Tempranillo, 5% Garnacha of 30 years of age, the wine shows a ruby red color, a clean nose with nuances of balsamic, plum and cedar. The palate is smooth and velvety, complex and structured, with fruit, spice flavors with toasted oak. A pleasant finish with red fruits and hints of eucalyptus.

The harvest
This year in Rioja Alavesa the weather has been especially cold, the summer short and dry, and there has been plenty of rain in early September. This has produced wines with great aromatic notes, particularly those coming from high altitude areas, very fragrant and with great structure.

Winemaking and aging
Upon entering the bodega and passing the selection table, the grapes are de-stemmed and crushed before undergoing fermentation and then maceration in stainless steel tanks for a total of 8 days, obtaining better color extraction as well as much more complex wines, suitable for prolonged aging. The wine is clarified with vegetable gelatines and follows anicrobic filtration.

It is ideal to pair with meats; red meat, poultry, small game, oily fish, semi-cured cheeses, spicy dishes and hot dishes such as beans or potatoes Rioja style.
After its primary fermentation, the wine is placed in barrels where it undergoes malolactic fermentation and is aged for a minimum of 12 months. It is then bottled for at least another 12 months.




Mas Sinen La Vall Priorat 2017

Mas Sinen La Vall Priorat is made from 57% Garnacha, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cariñena (Carignan), 9% Syrah.

This wine has a highly intense, lively vermilion red color, complex yet direct aromas with predominant ripe black and red fruits, notes of minerals and forest herbs. Flavors are strong, full and layered with round, fresh and delicate tannins.

Pairs with meat, sausage, cheese.

Mas Sinen Coster Reserve Priorat 2014

Mas Sinen Coster Reserve Priorat is made from 50% Grenache and 50% Carignan.

he Priorat DO was created in 1954. But it is only in the 1990 that the quality of the wines were able to compete internationally. It is now a DOCa (The highest qualification level for a wine region according to Spanish wine regulations, alongside Rioja DOCa). Total acreage for the entire appellation is 4,400 acres. Intense red cherry color with garnet reflections. Black fruit, compote fruits, hints of balsamic. The mouth is ripe and intense, fresh and powerful. Strong and flavorful.

50 year old vines planted on Llicorella soil (decomposed black and reddish Slate, mixed with Mica and Quartz). Light filtration.

Review:


"The ambitious and oaky 2014 Mas Sinén Coster is Garnacha and Cariñena from sloped vineyards that yield no more than 500 grams of grapes per plant. It fermented in stainless steel for 14 days followed by 18 days of maceration, and it matured in new French oak barrels for 12 months. The oak is still pretty obvious; the fruit has good ripeness, and the mouthfeel shows balance, perhaps a little too much oak for the fruit. Give it a little more time in bottle. 1,600 bottles were filled in July 2016. - Luis Gutierrez"

- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #236, April 2018), 90 pts


 Wine Advocate: 90