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B Leighton Petit Verdot is made from 100 percent Petit Verdot.
Dark and brooding. Vibrant, beautiful and tantalizes the senses with violets, black cassis, pipe tobacco and forest floor. Elegant, fresh, deep and refined. It continues with black raspberry, ocean breeze, orange zest and a touch of fresh herbs. Need I say more? Drink up, buttercup.
A spicy red, showing blackcurrant and walnut character with some new wood. It’s full-to medium-bodied with chewy fruit and a nutty finish. Drink now.
James Suckling 91 Points
Located at the base of the Blue Mountains in Walla Walla (Washington State), Charles Smith opened his first winery, K Vintners, in December of 2001. The first release, 1999 K Syrah from Walla Walla Valley, initiated the style of winemaking that Charles continues today: small lots of single vineyard Syrahs and field blends of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Tempranillo, and Viognier, all of which are hand-picked, fermented with naturally occurring yeasts and basket pressed.
J. Lohr Cuvee St. E is made from 80% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon
The 2016 J. Lohr Cuvée St. E captures the ripe but savory side of the Bordeaux varieties. This wine is dark in color with a bright garnet hue. Aromas of red currant, coffee bean and dark chocolate lead to a palate of ripe plum and cassis. Tightly wound tannins are typical in Cabernet Franc and present the greatest reward after a few years of bottle age.
A perfect pairing for filet mignon with a shallot cream sauce or Osso Bucco (braised veal shanks) over a bed of polenta.
Strong aromas of black cherry, toasted oak, caramel, vanilla, charred coffee bean and milk chocolate make for a heavy nose in this blend. Blackberry and dry elderberry flavors are framed by firm tannins and asphalt on the palate.
-Wine Enthusiast 92 Points
Lovely blue-black fruits running all the way through, and a whiff of toffee and burnt blackberry on the nose.
-Decanter 92 Points
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.
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.
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.
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.
"A distinctly elegant style of Beaumes de Venise; gently aromatic, but with a good upswell of tannin and a persistent finish. Well-tailored, with peppery herbs on the finish. Also contains 6% Marsanne and 4% Grenache Blanc. Always a good value option."
- Decanter (October 2021), 91 pts
Amaren Rioja Crianza is made from 85% Tempranillo and 15% Garnacha
The wine is truly attractive, transmitting the finesse and elegance of the Tempranillo and the fresh, delicate fruitiness of the Garnacha. A balanced combination which is far from an excessive complexity, corpulence or over extraction to achieve the goal set by the bodega: to make a “RICH” wine in capital letters. With a nose in which the fruit character with floral nuances and strawberry toffees will stay with you all through its passage through the mouth, where you can sense its power, but with an elegance, enchanting you with its great balance until the long finish with heady notes of red fruit typical of the best garnachas from the Rioja Alavesa.
Only the perfect grapes are used to produce this wine. Amaren Crianza is the pursuit of perfection in all areas: the vineyard, the selection process, winemaking method and ageing.
Made from 85% tempranillo and 15% garnacha from vines with an average age of 35 years, the grapes are selected on a dual sorting table, first a manual check of the clusters and then individual berries.
Both varieties are harvested, vinified and aged separately to extract their optimum potential and obtain aromatic complexity.
After vinification the wine is cask aged for 12 months in 50% new, American-oak barrels and 50% in French-oak barrels used for a second vintage.
Tempranillo brings to the wine typical finesse, elegance and true expression of the characteristics of the best soils of Rioja Alavesa. Garnacha is the ideal complement that brings notes of red fruits, freshness and delicacy.
San Felice Vigorello Toscana IGT is made from Pugnitello 35%, Merlot 30%, Cabernet Sauvignon 30%, Petit Verdot 5%.
It’s 1968, and an important time at San Felice: the first Super Tuscan ever produced in Chianti Classico, Vigorello, is born as a 100% Sangiovese.
Its birth represents both a breaking point with traditional production rules and the beginning of a period of appreciation and development of the entire region and its most prized variety.
THE EVOLUTION: 1968-2018
Since then, Vigorello has continued to evolve in a compelling and continuous way, along the path to date: in 1979, the wine becomes a blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon; in 2001, the inclusion of Merlot into the blend, which in 2006 will entirely replace Sangiovese; in 2011 the turning point, with the introduction of Pugnitello, a native vine rediscovered through studies in the Vitiarium, which since then has marked its uniqueness and the return to its most authentic Tuscan roots, blended with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.
Still marked by vanilla and new oak, but this has loads of blackberry, black cherry and plum fruit. It's rich without overextraction, boasting dense tannins, superb balance and a long finish. Pugnitello, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. To be released in 2022 for Vigorello's 50th anniversary. —San Felice Vigorello Non-blind Retrospective (April 2021). Best from 2025 through 2050. 3,333 cases made, 500 cases imported. — BS
Wine Spectator 94 Points
Cazaux Gigondas Tour Sarrasine is made from 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre. 45 year old vines on average.
Intense, persistent red and dark fruit aromas. Raspberry, pepper and spice flavors. Silky tannins.
Enjoy with game meat or strong cheeses.
"The 2020 Gigondas La Tour Sarrasine follows suit and is also loaded with charm and character. Lots of up-front red and black fruits, classic, spicy aromatics, moderate acidity, and medium to full-bodied richness all characterize this 2020 barrel sample. A blend of 70% Grenache and 15% Each of Syrah and Mourvèdre, it has all the right components, and my money is on it being an outstanding bottle of wine."
- Jeb Dunnuck (January 2022), 91-93 pts
K Vintners The Boy Grenache is made from 100 percent Syrah.
A bouquet of uncontainable layers. Black raspberry, Alpine strawberry, licorice stick, white pepper and dark cherry. An inviting, satiny palate: forest floor, fireplace ash, hung game, summer rain and finesse. That makes me a total believer. The best Boy ever.
A lovely grenache with ripe strawberry, white pepper and hints of hazelnut on both the nose and palate. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a spicy finish. 100% whole cluster. No new oak. So yummy. Drink now or hold.
- James Suckling 96 Points
Gorgeous framboise and ripe strawberry fruits as well as spice, herbes de Provence, and wildflower notes emerge from the 2018 Grenache The Boy Powerline Vineyard, and it's medium to full-bodied, with a seamless, elegant texture and outstanding length. This is another thrilling Grenache from this team that does everything right. It's hard to resist today yet should keep for 10-12 years in cold cellars.
-Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
B Leighton Petit Verdot is made from 100 percent Petit Verdot.
Beautiful, lively and focused at first approach. Expressing black cassis, blackberry, brambles and thyme combining with crushed gravel, pencil shavings and floral notes. It is a fantastic expression of Petit Verdot that is rich and velvet on the palate, all at the same time. So much depth and length it seriously takes your breath away.
Lastly, the 2016 Petit Verdot comes from a higher elevation block and was brought up in 40% new French oak. It has a great bouquet of white pepper, chocolatey dark fruits, tobacco, and a kiss of violets to go with a full-bodied, incredible elegant profile on the palate. You don’t find Petit Verdot with this level of finesse very often, and it has silky tannins, good mid-palate concentration, and a great finish. It’s another stunning wine from Leighton I’d be thrilled to drink over the coming 10-15 years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
Betz Family Cabernet Sauvignon Pere de Famille 2017 is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest is Petit Verdot and Merlot.
Medium ruby. Vibrant aromas of black fruits, violet and pepper. Densely packed and plush but also sharply delineated, with the intense black fruit and saline mineral flavors boasting terrific inner-mouth perfume; there's also an exhilarating element of wildness here. As sappy as this powerful, gripping Cabernet is, it also hints at an almost candied sweetness. (Winemaker Skinner feels that the vinification in concrete was conducive for rounding out the structure of the Red Mountain fruit in this vintage and added that the year of aging in neutral oak helped the wine's texture and allowed its fruit to come through.) Spreads out horizontally to saturate the palate on the back end, finishing with broad, dusty tannins. This wine too is plusher and more concentrated than the 2016 version. (13.8% alcohol; two-thirds fermented in concrete; aging began in 75% new oak but the wine was moved into neutral barriques for a final 12 months)
- Stephen Tanzer 95 Points
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Merlot, the 2017 Pere de Famille has a rich nose of black fruit and a structured, chewy core. Medium-bodied and dense on the palate, the wine shows an impeccable balance and steadily growing tannins on the back of the mid-palate. Soft purple flowers evolve with the robust expression while still in the mouth, and the finish is bold and precise—the flavors persist with great complexity long after the wine has left the mouth. This is an age-worthy wine with 13.8% alcohol and nice balance. 1,100 cases of this simply stunning wine were made. It's a delicious wine, and I highly recommend it.
-Wine Advocate 95 Points
This is a complex and subtle red with chocolate, spice and walnut aromas and flavors. Medium-to full-bodied. Tile and iron undertones. Juicy and flavorful on the finish. A beautiful, balanced red. Very fine, polished tannins. Subtle and friendly. Regional blend that shows the story of the vintage. A blend of 90% cabernet sauvignon, 6% petit verdot and 4% merlot. Drink or hold.
-James Suckling 95 Points
The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Père de Famille showed beautifully. Coming mostly from Red Mountain (which I think excelled in 2017), it has beautiful cassis and black cherry fruit as well as notes of violets, spring flowers, and graphite. It’s tight, medium to full-bodied, and structured on the palate, and in need of 4-5 years of bottle age.
Betz Family Clos de Betz is 67 % Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot
Full, dark ruby-red. Black fruit and licorice aromas are complicated by a mineral element. Wonderfully sappy, concentrated and ripe, with well-delineated Merlot-dominated flavors of black fruits, licorice and bitter chocolate conveying sexy sweetness. Finishes with plush tannins and excellent length. A superb vintage for this wine, clearly more concentrated and ripe than the 2016. Winemaker Skinner told me that the Petit Verdot element from Olsen vineyard is somewhat Pinot-like and actually softens this wine's tannins. And he noted that the cool late-season temperatures in 2017 allowed for easy picking. (aged until June of '18 in 60% new oak before being moved to neutral barrels for nearly another year of aging)
- Stephen Tanzer 93 Points
A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, the 2017 Clos de Betz has a vibrant expression on the nose, with plush, generous fruit aromas and an underlying brooding tightness. Full-bodied on the palate, the fleshy, plump fruit tones deliver a velvety lushness over the mid-palate, then the wine becomes more dusty and rigid on the finish, ending with oak spices that linger. I will revisit this swine in 36 months, as I suspect it will show better at a later date. This will easily last a decade and more. 750 cases produced.
-Wine Advocate 94 Points
B Leighton Olsen Bros Syrah is made from 100 percent Syrah.
Inviting, Intriguing, brooding and vivacious. Black cherry, wet earth, grilled meats, fireplace ash and black pepper take you there and then beautiful notes of seaweed, camphor and black tar finish it off in time for another sip and more exploration of this wonderful wine.
Lots of smoky and grilled-meat character to the ripe-berry highlights. It’s full-bodied with round, juicy tannins and lots of flavor and intensity. Yet, it remains fresh and vivid at the end. Vanilla touches make it even more interesting. Drink or hold.
-James Suckling 94 Points
Bressia Profundo is made from 50% Malbec, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 10% Syrah
Profundo began during the era of “assemblages” in Argentina; wines from various grapes combined in different proportions, achieving a singular, complete wine with great definition.
The Malbec, the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Syrah come from Lujan de Cuyo vineyards 3,100 feet above sea level. Planted 6,500 plants per hectare.
Intense red color with purple tones. Delicate strawberry, blackberry aromas intertwined with chocolate, tobacco, dulce de leche and vanilla nuances. Harmonious and elegant in the mouth with a long finish.
"The 2017 Bressia Profundo is half Malbec with 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 10% Syrah from Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo and was aged in used American and French barrels. A rich purple in color, the complex nose offers violets and white pepper with hints of ripe plum, raspberry and blackcurrant with whiffs of mint and balsam over a bed of oak. Indulgent initially, the flow grows voluminous and gentle with delicate tannins enlivened by the juicy freshness. A nuanced red of ephemeral flavor. - Joaquín Hidalgo"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2021), 94 pts
Penedo Borges Icono Malbec is made from 85% Malbec, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot
Dark purple color.
Complex aromas of predominent ripe red fruit such as plum, cherry and raspberry with spicy notes.
Chocolate and vanilla flavors from barrel ageing which provide complexity and elegance.
Wine of great lenght.
Red meats, lamb, beef stew, strong cheese.
Icon is a selection from the winery, that is, of the best barrels of the year, basically with Malbec that occupies 85% of the final blend. The selection is made after a year of aging in barrels. The fruit of this selection is a wine of great depth of flavors, with spicy and herbal touches and with firm, sharp and penetrating tannins. In addition, there are earthy notes that project throughout the palate. An old school wine with an austere structure. One for the Cellar.
-Descorchados 94 Points
"Ripe berry and cassis aromas come with a blast of potent oak, but overall the nose on this Malbec is appealing in a bold manner. Airing is vital to smoothing out the tartaric bite this brings, while flavors of blackberry, dark plum, vanilla and mocha finish long and smoother than the palate. Drink this fully oaked and powerfully built Malbec through 2027. - MICHAEL SCHACHNER"
- Wine Enthusiast (July 2021), 93 pts
Gagliasso Rocche dell Annunziata Barolo is made from 100% Nebbiolo.
This is a gorgeous wine on many fronts. Firstly, its aromas of wild berry, smoke and cedar are focused and pristine. Secondly, the texture it imparts in the mouth is dense, firm but ultimately yielding and plush. Lastly, the wine's fresh flavors endure for many minutes.
Average density of vines: 5500 vines per hectare Method of cultivation: classical Guyot method with medium-short pruning; the vineyard are three, two with west exposure and one south with medium slope. Green harvest in two different times with reduction of grapes with a production per hectare around 5500 kg . Rocche dell’Annunziata grape are harvested very ripe with a meticulous selection; the fermentation took place in stainless steel vats with temperature controlled. The fermentation is around 33-34°C with 15-17 days of maceration ; malolattic fermentation took place spontaneously in stainless steel vats. After malolattic fermentation the wine stay for 12 month in French barrels, 50% new oak and 50% 2 years; after this period the barrels are blended in big barrels of 2500 liters for 18 month. The wine is bottled and refined for 10-12 month.
Bright, elegant ruby red. Finely drawn nose, not too expressive, a hint of raspberries, blood orange, noble resin. On the palate with great substance and juicy tannins, tightly woven, hearty, shows itself to be long and deep.
-Falstaff 95 Points