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Clos Solene Harmonie is made from Paso Robles 67% Grenache, 18% Mourvèdre and 15% Syrah
Composed of 5 of the best vineyards on the west side of Paso Robles with mainly limestone and shale terroirs, brought elegance and pureness to this vintage. Aged for 16 months in larger used barrels, it delivers, on the nose, an incredible bouquet, and on the palate, notes of strawberries followed by some silkiness texture with delicate tannins and a great acidity.
Aged 16 months in mostly used puncheons 400-liter barrels (15% new)
Pairs with roasted pork. Eggplant parmesan, filet mignon
"The 2017 Harmonie (67% Grenache, 18% Mourvèdre, and 15% Syrah) is beautiful and certainly makes the most of the vintage. Black cherries, red currants, cedary spice, dried herbs, and floral notes all flow to a medium to full-bodied blend that has flawless balance, ultra-fine tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish. It can be drunk today or cellared for over a decade."
- Jeb DUNNUCK (October 31st 2019), 97 pts
Born and raised in the Southeast of France, Guillaume comes from a family of grape growers and winemakers. After 24 years in Narbonne, he moved to Bordeaux. Both regions famous for their wines are also very different from each other. It requires some grape growing and winemaking experience to switch from one to the other, such as different climates, soil types, vine illnesses and more. But life is full of surprises. Not convinced he wanted to make wine in Bordeaux, he took a harvest internship at L’Aventure in Paso Robles. The same bolt of lighting that he felt for Solène, struck again. He fell in love with the soil and terroir of Paso Robles. What was supposed to be a 3-month harvest internship, turned into 6 months, and he was offered the position of Assistant Winemaker. While working for L’Aventure, he worked day and night on his own project - to launch his very own brand. In 2007, Clos Solène was born.
When Guillaume and Solène acquired the estate in January of 2017, the existing vineyard was planted in 1998 onto vigorous rootstock. The rows were planted a little wider than Guillaume would have planted, but he felt that it was a great place to start, especially having 20-year-old vines in place, which is considered “old vines” for this area. After testing to make sure the vines were clean of any and all viruses, Guillaume decided to re-graft the whole 8 acres and turn the plot into a nursery for future planting.
Robert Parker on Clos Solene:
"Clos Solène was founded in 2007 by Guillaume and Solène Fabre. At present, they make about 2,500 cases a year but have recently purchased their own estate and hope to grow the brand to around 4,000 cases. Guillaume, a native of the Languedoc-Roussillon in France, has begun planting rootstocks and grafting over vines and is experimenting with Côte-Rôtie-style training for his Syrah vines. Currently, most of the fruit is purchased, but the pair hopes to dial back to only 30% purchased fruit as their own vines come online. Guillaume says he wants his wines to have “a common denominator of elegance and perfume,” and indeed the wines are much more restrained than is usual for Paso. 2017 with its heat spikes was especially challenging here. “It was 105 degrees for two straight weeks,” Guillaume recalls. “We picked a bit earlier, used less new oak, less stems and less extraction. We did triage picks and then sorted very heavily. We lost about 30% to 40% of production on the sorting table because we let go of anything impacted by that heat. - Erin BROOKS"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (February 2020)
Dominus Napa Valley Red Blend is made from 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot.
The historic Napanook Vineyard, a 124-acre site west of Yountville, was planted in 1838. This vineyard was the source of fruit for some of the finest Napa Valley wines. Estate-bottled in the spirit of the Bordeaux châteaux, Dominus Estate is dry-farmed to allow natural stress and good concentration of fruit. Grape clusters are crop-thinned to allow sun and air to pass in between, helping to achieve full maturation and soften the tannins. Only 20% to 40% new French oak barrels are used in order to limit the extraction of oak notes. To express the unique terroir, the classic Bordeaux grape varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot are planted with different root stocks best suited for the varying soil composition of gravel, heavy clay and loam.
The 2017 Dominus is one of the truly epic, grand wines of the vintage. Rich, dense and explosive, with tremendous concentration and sheer power, the 2017 Dominus captures all the personality of this site along with the natural opulence of the year. Inky dark fruit, lavender, menthol, licorice, plum, gravel and a host of dark spice notes infuse the 2017 with seemingly endless layers of nuance. Over the last two years I have tasted several hundred Napa Valley Cabernets, both from barrel and bottle. There is no question that Dominus belongs among the elite in 2017; it is simply a breathtaking wine. Certainly readers looking for a Napa Valley Cabernet to cellar should put Dominus at the top of their lists. -Vinous 98 Points
The grand vin is the 2017 Dominus, which is based on 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, harvested between September 21 and October 3, and aged in 40% new French oak. Chateau Lafite-like notes of blackcurrants, lead pencil shavings, cedary tobacco, and gravelly earth all emerge from the glass, and it's full-bodied, has a terrific sense of elegance, lots of tannins, and a great finish. This tight, powerful, concentrated Dominus will benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for 25 years or more. 2017 doesn't get much better. -Robert Parker 97 Points
There was about 50% of a normal crop this year for the 2017 Dominus, due to strict selection. Grapes were harvested from September 21 to October 3 and the wine was bottled in June 2019. This year the blend is 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, aged in 40% new French oak barrels. Very deep purple-black in color, it sashays nonchalantly out of the glass with graceful notions of potpourri, forest floor, crushed rocks, Ceylon tea and licorice with a core of black currant cordial, chocolate-covered cherries, mulberries and preserved plums plus a waft of garrigue. Full-bodied, the palate has a beautifully impactful, wonderfully quiet intensity of black and blue fruits with loads of floral and spicy sparks, framed by firm yet plush tannins, finishing with long-lasting earthy notes. -Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
Kinsella Estates Heirloom Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
20 months in French Oak (75% New)
Intense was the first word that came to mind. Purely focused tannin weaves its way through the core of this wine. Has a savory characteristic that we have found in past vintages (2014 to be specific) with a slight licorice note on the exceptionally long finish. While this vineyard has been described as “feminine” in the past, that is certainly not the case for this bigger, bolder vintage!
The Cabernet Sauvignon Casey’s Lakeview is similarly inky bluish/purple to the rim. Tasting like blood, this wine is dense and rich with lots of chocolate, espresso, earth and spice. It is deep, full-bodied, and again, a masculine style of wine that needs at least 4-5 years of cellaring and should keep for 25 or more years.
Lakeview Vineyard is the winery’s mid-block vineyard planted to a combination of clone 6 & 337 Cabernet Sauvignon on 101-14 rootstock. Excellent drainage from the rocky and chalky soils plus plenty of sunlight throughout the day produces wines of bold character with mouth filling flavors.
Organic farming methods are used to produce this Cabernet Sauvignon Casey's Lakeview vineyard. Vines are 17 years old. Ageing in French oak barrels (85% new) for 20 months, then 12 months in bottle prior to release. Non-filtered.
"The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Casey’s Lakeview is similarly inky bluish/purple to the rim. Tasting like blood, this wine is dense and rich with lots of chocolate, espresso, earth and spice. It is deep, full-bodied, and again, a masculine style of wine that needs at least 4-5 years of cellaring and should keep for 25 or more years."
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #222, December 2015), 95 pts
"Darker tonalities of fruit along with distinctly savory undertones are two of the signatures in the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Casey's Lakeview Vineyard. Rich, ample and powerful, the Casey's Lakeview offers notable richness to fill out its broad-shouldered frame. Hints of lavender and mint add nuance in a virile Cabernet Sauvignon that needs at least a few years to fully come together. - Antonio Galloni"
- Vinous (October 2015), 94 pts
The Grade Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Winfield Vineyard is made from Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
“2016 produced wines that are very giving, round, coating and streamlined. Year after this year, this bottling aims to highlight the best attributes of the Winfield Vineyard, and also creates a wine that possesses qualities that allow it to age well in the cellar and evolve over many years.
“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
The estate Cabernet Sauvignon is grown primarily along the southwest ridge of the vineyard. The vines produce small berries with bountiful flavor, concentration and intensity, but also a good degree of finesse, excellent structure and layers of complexity that will continue to develop during extended bottle aging for those who want to cellar and age their wines. The wine is powerful, elegant, full-bodied.
Bottled unfined and unfiltered.100% free run
Pumpovers and punch-downs, up to 45 day macerations
Native yeast, 5 day cold soaks
22 months in 75% new French oak barrels
Fermented in concrete and stainless closed top tanks.
"The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain Estate is a thrilling effort from winemaker Todd Alexander that rates with some of the most monumental wines to come out of Washington State. Based on 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from their estate vineyard on Red Mountain, brought up in mostly new barrels, it reveals a saturated purple color that's followed by a rich, primordial bouquet of crème de cassis, espresso roast, crushed rock, and graphite. It needs considerable air to start to show its potential yet is a full-bodied, powerful wine that has subtle oak, plenty of sweet tannins, and a huge, layered finish that won't quit. It's the tannin management that's truly spectacular. This brilliant wine needs to be forgotten for 4-5 years and will keep for 2-3 decades."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 99 pts
Hommage Blanc is made with 75% Roussanne and 25% Viognier. 2019 was the first vintage with 20% of the fruits coming from the Estate, the rest comes from James Berry, Glenrose and Adelaida. You will love this wine because of its perfume and its mouthfeel. Aged in oak for 6 months, it is elegant with a nice texture.
The wine has a refined bouquet of honeysuckle and some tropical notes. Nicely balanced, it has a great texture, a lingering finish with a beautiful minerality. To describe it I would use the word elegance. A beautifull white wine that can be aged for 8 years with an optimum drinking window between 3 to 6 years and ideal temperature to serve at 52F.
"The flagship white, the 2018 Hommage Blanc is a deeper, richer white based on 75% Roussanne and 25% Viognier that was brought up in 30% new French oak. Lots of white peach, honeysuckle, orange blossom, and hints of citrus all emerge from the glass, and it offers medium to full body, hints of spice and brioche, a rounded, supple texture, and outstanding length. It's going to shine on the dinner table. I expect it to put on weight with a year in bottle and keep for over a decade."
- Jeb DUNNUCK (October 31st 2019), 93+pts
Maurice Protheau Mercurey Rouge Premier Cru Cru Clos l'Eveque is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
The "Clos l'Evêque" was in the XVIII century the best vineyard in Mercurey. It belonged to the Bishopric of Chalon-sur-Saône, near Mercurey, and the wine was used for the bishop' receptions as well as for the masses (only the best wine could be served to God). In French "Evêque" means Bishop. It is also called a "Clos" because the vines used to be surrounded by a wall. Some parts of it still remain.
Lovely garnet color, medium intensity, limpid and bright, beautiful tears. The nose, clean and elegant, evokes ripe red and black fruits, rapsberry, cherry, blackberry, blueberry; the aeration is enriched by fine woody notes, roasted coffee, cocoa and a hint of licorice. The palate is ample, full, round and fleshy with a fruity expression of a beautiful purity; the evolution shows a fine substance, silky tannins supported by the freshness; the whole, perfectly balanced, presents a long torrefied finish on sweet spices.
From the 1er Cru "Clos l'Eveque", situated in the Northern part of the Mercurey village.
Harvesting is done manually and in crates to avoid trituration and bursting of the berries. The grapes are totally de-stemmed and put into tanks at low temperature for 3 days minimum. The maximum fruit is extracted. Pumping and some light pigeages will allow us to extract the coloring matter and tannins, which will promise us a good aging. The fermentation temperature will rise gradually to more than 30°C in order to stabilize the color. Once the sugars are finished, about 15 days minimum, maceration ends in closed tank for the final outcome of the wine.
The juice from the vat will be drawn off, then the solid material will be pressed into a pneumatic press and will be added in small touches to the free-run juice. After settling of the juice for 24 hours, the wines are intoned for aging in oak barrels for a period of 11 months. Malolactic fermentation will gradually start and will end in barrels.
Pairs with Beautiful meats (roast beef) and cheese. After the wine has aged, it can also be served with game.
Alain Jaume Domaine du Clos de Sixte Lirac is made from 50% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre
An intense red garnet color. On the nose, aromas of red and black ripe fruit (kirsch and wild blackberry). The mouth is full, with aromas of blackcurrant liqueur and spice. Tannins are both harmonious and elegant thanks to the fleshiness of the wine. Hints of licorice and vanilla on the finish, which gives the wine length and complexity.
Soil type LIRAC vineyard is facing Chateauneuf du Pape, opposite side of the Rhône river. As showed by the picture and following geologist George Truc, soils are almost similar in both side. They are marked by the violence wrought by the Rhone river. It consists of a layer of marine molasses of the Miocene period covered by alpine alluvium. The presence of a great number of rounded stones known as "galets" in the earth is evidence of the time when the Rhone, then a torrent, tore fragments of rock from the Alps and deposited them on the plain. LIRAC is one of the up-coming best area from the southern Rhône valley, as it delivers outstanding wines. Winemaking & ageing Traditional wine-making in stainless still vats. Hand sorted bunches, crushed and destemmed grapes. Fermentation temperature : 30°C. 18 days of vatting with pigeages.
"The 2016 Lirac Domaine du Clos de Sixte is a terrific wine, easily the rival to many Châteauneufs from across the river, starting with its alluring aromas of flowering garrigue and ripe cherries. A blend of 50% Grenache, 35% Syrah and 15% Mourvèdre, this full-bodied wine is lush and concentrated on the palate, then turns velvety on the long finish. I'd treat it like a Châteauneuf du Pape in terms of cellaring: hold it for a few years, then drink it over the next 15. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue 233, October 2017), 93+ pts
Betz Family Clos de Betz is 67 % Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot
"Possessing even more Merlot than the 2014, the 2015 Clos de Betz is 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot brought up in a mix of barrels. Its chocolatey plum, tobacco leaf, licorice and damp earth aromatics give way to a medium to full-bodied, polished, pretty style on the palate that shines for its elegance and freshness. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #231, June 2017), 92-94 pts
Force Majeure estate Syrah is made from 100 percent Syrah.
The Force Majeure estate Syrah is cultivated in a combination of the 8 soil types that exist in the vineyard, with most of it being planted in very steep, very rocky locations, but some also planted in deeper, loamier soils.
The estate Syrah typically exhibits a broad spectrum of black, blue and red fruits, dried herbs and jasmine, fennel, smoked meats and crushed rock along with very fine tannins, great length, balance and complexity.
AppellationRed Mountain Varietal(s) 100% Syrah
Soil type Very steep, rocky locations, but some also planted in deeper, loamier soils
Vinification 22% whole cluster, remainder destemmed. Fermented in concrete, open top and closed top stainless. ~25% new French oak for 18 months, mostly larger format (300L to 500L) Native yeast, cold soak up front Macerations up to 30 days; pumpovers and punch-downs 100% free run. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Production 500 (9-liter cases)
"A stunning, world-class wine from Red Mountain, the 2017 Syrah Estate is the finest example yet from this steep, rocky terroir and winemaker Todd Alexander. With extraordinary notes of blackberry, smoked game, cassis, graphite, charred meats, and spring flowers, it’s reminiscent of a top Cote Rotie from the Cote Blonde. With full-bodied richness, a beautiful, layered, multi-dimensional texture, ripe tannins, and integrated oak, it’s beautiful today yet will benefit from short-term cellaring and cruise for 15-20 years or more in cool cellars. This sensational wine will stand toe to toe with the best out there." - Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020), 99 pts
Sunset Hills Red is made from 77% Cabernet Franc, 9% Tannat, 8% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon
Notes of brambled blackberry, raspberry, plum, and forest floor. Light in body, leaning on acidity rather than tannins. Youthful and vibrant!
The lighter style that Sunset Red offers widens the scope of the wines here at Sunset Hills Vineyard. Delicate and youthful, the structure of the Sunset Red is carried by its acidity and bright fruit notes, rather than heavy oak or tannins. We want this wine to be enjoyed young—with the fruit notes still bright and vibrant.
Philippe Milan Pommard AOC is 100% Pinot Noir
This wine has been aged in Oak (25% new Oak)
This is a little more structured and the style goes more toward the "vin de garde", or wines meant to age. This wine needs some food, or sometime in the decanter right now. It is well structured and reminds me of a Volnay. As a matter of fact, the parcel is located right next to Volnay. The finish is long and still quite juicy with chewy tannins lingering.
Opus One 2014 is made from 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec.
Of the great European wine families, the Rothschilds are perhaps the best known. And Baron Philippe de Rothschild is perhaps the best known of this great family. At the age of 20, Baron Philippe took on the management of Château Mouton Rothschild from his father Baron Henri. Philippe’s vision changed the world of wine: he invented Château bottling, commissioned great artists to illustrate his wine labels – and, in partnership with Robert Mondavi in 1979, created Opus One.In the 1980s, after her father’s death, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild left a stage career that included the Comédie Française and the Renault-Barrault Theatre Company, bringing her own exquisite style and creativity to the design, construction, and operation of Opus One.Among great New World wine pioneers, Robert Mondavi is an international icon. Bringing a passion for excellence to everything he did, Robert Mondavi led a renaissance in California fine wine for over six decades. Among other accomplishments, he introduced temperature-controlled fermentation, French oak barrel aging, and high-density viticulture to a fledgling American wine industry. But life was not only wine for Robert Mondavi: he broadened the American cultural palate by marrying fine wine to food, music, and the arts. One of few Americans to have received the French medal of the Legion of Honor, Robert Mondavi showed extraordinary vision as co-founder of Opus One.
The 2014 Opus One is not as showy or obvious as some of the other surrounding vintages, but it will have its day. Stylistically, the 2014 is bright and also a touch linear, with a construction built more on focus rather than opulence. Readers should plan on giving the 2014 another few years in bottle at a minimum. The mid-weight style is a bit Old World-leaning in this striking, super-classic Opus One. -- Antonio Galloni 96 Points
Blended of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec, the Opus One 2014 Proprietary Red Wine sports an inky purple color and nose of crushed black and red currants, black cherries and mulberries with touches of underbrush, sautéed herbs and pencil shavings plus a waft of spice box. Medium-bodied, finely crafted and with an energetic line lifting the red and black fruits, it has a bold frame of grainy tannins and a very long, earth and spice-layered finish. -Robert Parker 96 Points