Xavier Vignon Lirac Rouge is made from 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah.
Ripe fruit, ranging from raspberries and cherries to hints of stone fruit. Yet, it's not over the top or simply fruity. This full-bodied wine adds hints of leather, garrigue and licorice along the way, evolving from creamy to velvety on the palate and through the lasting finish.
Pairs with lamb Tagine with dry fruits - Duck breast fillet with green pepper sauce - BBQ Prime rib of beef.
"An 80-20 blend of Grenache and Syrah, Vignon's 2019 Lirac is drawn from multiple parcels with galets roulés over clay soils. Roughly one-third went into oak, while the rest stayed in tank. It may be the most complex of the various Vignon "Signature" offerings, marrying hints of garrigue and licorice with mixed berries and hints of oak. It's medium to full-bodied, silky and forward, with the same lip-smacking drinkability factor that marks all of Vignon's wines on the finish. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (September 2020) 92 pts
Argot Cabernet Sauvignon 1555 Oakville is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Hailing from the historic Bonny’s Vineyard in the heart of Oakville. Cabernet Sauvignon vines thrive in the gravel rich soils here adjacent to the Napa River riverbed. Roots plumb deep into the valley floor, while vine canopies harvest Napa Valley’s plethora of summer sunshine. These conditions conspire to deliver unerringly perfect Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.
Pouring a deep opaque red-violet, 1555’s Cabernet personality leaps from the glass balancing opulent fruit, damp earth, chilling minerality and an alluring spice note that keeps pulling us back for more. Exquisitely ripe tannins provide a refined, velvety structure, delivering the deep and seductively rich palate. The pedigree displayed in the glass is undeniable.
"Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon 1555 Oakville wafts sensuously out of the glass with redcurrant jelly, black raspberries and rose oil scents, followed by a cassis and black plums core, with emerging suggestions of cinnamon toast, cedar and pencil shavings. The full-bodied palate is fantastically fragrant, delivering red and black fruit layers accented by floral and exotic spice nuances, supported by super ripe, velvety tannins, finishing long and perfumed. 250 cases were made. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (November 2021), 95+ pts
Aalto P.S. Pagos Seleccionados Tinto is made from 100 percent Tempranillo.
The farming year began with a mild autumn and little precipitation. A very dry winter started with -9ºC reaching at the end higher temperatures than normal for that time of the year. Spring and summer characterized by little rain, only some rain showers in July and late August avoided the hydric stress of the vines. The vegetative cycle of the vine developed with big variations of temperatures, alternating warm and atypical low temperatures of 4ºC for mid-June. The ripening of the grapes happened under very good conditions and the harvest started on 24th September 2019.
100% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) primarily from very old vines – 60 to 90 years old – from selected plots in La Horra and La Aguilera. The harvest was done by hand, in small boxes of 15 kilos that are thoroughly inspected, bunch by bunch, on the selection table.
Color: dark cherry, Aroma: toasty, spicy, fine cocoa, black fruit, Mouth: tasty, toasty, fine bitterness, ripe tannins
Guia Penin 94 Points
Alain Jaume Crozes Hermitage La Butte d'Or is made from 100 percent Syrah.
The wine comes from vineyards planted on well drained soils that are composed of gravels deposited by the Isere and Rhone Rivers. They store heat and bring a beautiful expression of Syrah.
The nose offers intense aromas of violet, blueberry and blackcurrant that mingle with subtle notes of mint and black pepper. In the mouth, the wine is juicy and pleasant with a velvety texture.
Hand-picked grapes, vinification in stainless steel vats. Total destemming. Cold pre-fermentation maceration.
"The 2019 Crozes-Hermitage La Butte D'Or is incredibly spicy and peppery, with a medium-bodied, elegant, nicely balanced style. Delivering silky yet present tannins as well as good acidity, it’s just about as gulpable and delicious as they come. Enjoy bottles over the coming 4-6 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (November 2020), 89-91 pts
Alain Jaume Vacqueyras Grande Garrigue is made from 65% Grenache Noir, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre and 5% Old vines Cinsault
Deep, intense hue. Aromas of fresh black fruit a little meaty, with dried herbs smells. On the palate, the richness of the tannins harmonizes with the smoothness of the wine. The finish is long, with spices aromas, licorice. A typical wine from this specific terroir called "Les Garrigues".
Soil type Vacqueyras is located right next to Gigondas AOC. It mostly streches on Sarrians territory, where is the famous plateaux named “Les Garrigues”. This area is made of clay and rocks. The beautiful landscape of the “garrigue” is typical of the mediterranean area. The wines itself smell the spices, the dried herbs…you will taste the “Garrigue” in your glass, welcome to Provence … Winemaking & ageing Traditional winemakeing methods, temperature controlled fermentation. Long soaking on the skins.
"A no brainier in just about every vintage, the 2019 Vacqueyras Grande Garrigue is a slightly larger production cuvée than the Mazane and has loads of Provençal character in its red and black raspberry fruits as well as notes of herbes de Provence, peppery garrigue, and dried flowers. Beautifully textured, medium to full-bodied, and mouthfilling, it’s a satisfying, outstanding Vacqueyras to enjoy on release and over the following 8-10 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (October 2020), 91-93 pts
It is hard to imagine with the Lithology range receiving 298 points out of 300 for the three single-vineyard wines, that there could possibly be a wine above them. But there is, and it is our Estate wine. Blended several times very intently by masters of their craft Philippe Melka and Michel Rolland, this is the ultimate expression of our house’s work. Positive, full-bodied, and quite powerful, there’s the expected crème de cassis and blackberry from St. Helena Cabernets, with mineral, herb, subtle tobacco and vanilla, plum skins, and pie crust, purple flowers, forest-conifer notes, and very fine tannic structure. It is a magnificent, and magnificently elegant expression of this house, and when asked recently, Monsieur Rolland stated plainly to me, “oh yes indeed – this is the best one, the best yet…”
Pure perfection in Cabernet, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Alejandro Bulgheroni is all varietal and comes two-thirds from Oakville with the balance from sites in St. Helena and Rutherford. Aged 20 months in 70% new French oak and put together by Philippe Melka and Michel Rolland, it has an incredibly pure, full-bodied, massive yet weightless style that I suspect couldn’t be achieved anywhere outside of Napa Valley. Cassis, blackberries, leafy herbs, lead pencil shavings, and tobacco leaf are just some of the nuances here, and it’s full-bodied, deep, and concentrated on the palate while maintaining an ethereal, seamless, utterly perfect balance between its fruit, alcohol, tannins, and acidity. As good as it gets, it needs just 2-4 years in the cellar and will evolve gracefully for at least 20-25 years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 100 Points
Bonny Doon Picpoul is made from 100% Picpoul Blanc.
This Picpoul is from the Beeswax vineyard. Picpoul or "lip-stinger" is known, of course for its tingling acidity, but coupled with its singular savoriness, it creates a dramatic sensation on the palate.
The nose of this Picpoul is maritime, coupled with a discreet suggestion of peaches, wildflowers and the ubiquitous fragrance of beeswax.
This wine is utterly brilliant with the briniest oysters or Dungeness crab. Other ideas include grilled octopus with lemon, Moussaka, sardines a la plancha, grilled sardines with friseÌe & whole-grain mustard dressing.
Dark ruby color. Aromas of cherry, currant, vanilla bean and hint of tar. Full-bodied, with flavors of cherries, cocoa powder and oak. A touch of sweetness on entry with a little bit of air with soft tannins that are starting to integrate well.
The latest step in the project is Vinsacro (formerly Valsacro) Dioro. The earlier Valsacros were made from a field selection of the older vineyards. Now, thanks to the new facility Amador has been able to build an upmarket version of Vinsacro (formerly Valsacro) with a four-stage selection process that includes an initial field selection of the fruit followed by a second table selection as the grapes come into the winery. After fermentation wine from selected tanks is transferred to new French oak barrels for 12-14 months of barrel age. Finally, the best barrels are set aside for Dioro and the remainder used to "upgrade" the normal Vinsacro.
Vinsacro Dioro is a blend of grapes from 100+ year old "vidau" vineyards where many varieties were planted together in the same plot.
Today the grapes are harvested and vinified separately. The final blend depends on the vintage but typically it's Tempranillo (50%), Garnacha (20%) and remaining 30% is a mix of mainly Graciano (10%) & Mazuelo (10%) with a little of Monastrell (5%) & Bobal (5%).
"The top of the range is the 2015 Vinsacro Dioro, a wine that is only produced in excellent vintages. It's a blend of 40% Vidau (the old field blend) plus 45% Tempranillo and 15% Mazuelo, from a slope in the south of the Monte Yerga called Cuesta la Reina, from a big, 120-hectare plot that has been with the Escudero family for generations. It fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel with a long maceration. It matured in new French (70%) and American oak barrels for 18 months. It's still very young and a little shy, with a reticent nose where the lactic and spicy aromas are intermixed with earthy and dark fruit aromas. The palate is full-bodied but perfectly balanced, compact, powerful and serious, with abundant tannins, extract and clout. This should develop nicely in bottle, given its stuffing and balance. An excellent, modern version of a classical Rioja. 20,000 bottles were filled in June 2017. - Luis Gutierrez"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #235, February 2018), 92 pts
"(sourced from a 100+ year old plot of mixed varieties; aged in new and used French oak barrels for 14 months) Deep, bright-rimmed ruby. Ripe black and blue fruits on the expansive, spice- and smoke-accented nose, along with suggestions of vanilla, candied flowers and cola. The oak qualities recede quickly on the palate, which displays sappy, deeply concentrated boysenberry, black raspberry and spicecake flavors that show a suave blend of richness and energy. Supple tannins build steadily on the penetrating finish, which leaves cherry-cola and baking spice notes behind. - Josh Raynolds"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (February 2019), 93 pts
"I loved the 2015 Vinsacro Dioro Rioja, and this beauty is 50% Tempranillo, 20% Grenache, 10% each of Mazuelo and Graciano, and the balance Mourvèdre and Bobal, all of which spent 12-14 months in French oak. It boasts a deep ruby/purple color as well as smoking good notes of black currants, dried herbs, licorice, and background oak. Medium to full-bodied, seamless, and layered on the palate, with terrific fruit and impeccable balance, I suspect it will shine for over a decade."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 2019), 93 pts
The Grade Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Winfield Vineyard is made from Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
“This wine expresses a focused balancing act of dark, rich black fruit, and a fine tannin structure, illuminated through the core with a laser-like acidity. The wine displays a deep purple-red hue with a cranberry halo. Aromas of cassis, cinnamon, citrus oil, roasted meat, and lilac swell from the glass.
“The palate is marked by a wave of jet-black brambly fruit up front, followed by an exotic spice mid-palate and a long, complex finish that lasts and lasts expressing notes of flowering jasmine, and oolong tea. The silky tannins hold everything together and will certainly allow this wine to evolve in the cellar for at least 7-10 years.” - Thomas River Brown
Coming from the Winfield Vineyard in Calistoga, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is another brilliant wine from the hands of winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown. This deep purple-colored effort boasts tons of blueberry and jammy blackberry fruits as well a medium to full-bodied, concentrated, yet elegant style on the palate. It has the purity of fruit that’s the hallmark of the vintage, ripe, sweet tannins, and no hard edges, and is already hard to resist.
-Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
Palacio de Fefinanes Albarino "III Ano" is made from 100 percent Albarino
The III Año shows all the expressiveness of the Albariño grape, with full nose of mature fruit and a mineral character. Complex and meaty with firm structure in the mouth, it promises a splendid evolution which will favor a long life for this elegant wine with personality.
Aged for 3 years on the lees in stainless steel tanks.
Wine is aged for a total of 6 months: 4 months in French and American Oak barrels. No new oak, only 1, 2 and 3 year old barriques. During these 4 months, wine is aged on the fine lees with frequent Batonnage (stirring of the lees) in order to get the most expressive notes from the Albarino varietal. Then, it is transfered into a stainless steel tank, which allows the oak aromas to be assimilated and integrated.
1583 is the birth date of the Viscount of Fefinanes, Gonzalo Sarmiento Valladares, builder of the Castle of Fefinanes, in Cambados. They wanted to pay tribute to their ancestor with this wine that managed to reach a perfect harmony between the fruitiness of the Albarino grape and the complexity brought by the oak aging.
Excellent with shellfish, grilled or stewed fish, white meats, poultry
"It's almost a crime to drink this incredible wine young, such is its proven, almost Riesling-like ability to age in bottle. Bottled late after eight months on lees and a further two years in tank, it's a focused, structured, mineral-edged white with notes of citrus and blackcurrant leaf and a racy, stony finish. Val do Salnés Albariño at its chiselled best. 2022-32"
- Tim Atkin (Rias Baixas Special Report 2022), 97 pts