Pago de Carraovejas Cuesta Liebres is made from 90% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The plot is located on a terraced hillside located at 900 m above sea level with slopes that range between inclines of 30% and 40%. Red cherry color with purple hues. Ripe fruit aromas, vanilla notes. Suave and unctuous in the mouth. A strong and noble character.
The harvest is carried out by hand using small crates and after passing through a refrigerated container it is transferred into tanks via gravity. The alcoholic and malolatic fermentation is carried out in small French “Haute Futaie” Oak casks with unique and original local yeasts and fermenting bacteria from the vineyard itself, to bring out the very best of the terroir, respecting the uniqueness of each and every vintage. Clarified with egg whites and bottled by gravity with natural cork stoppers.
"A wine that flirts with perfection, the 2014 Cuesta de las Liebres (100% Tinto Fino) comes from a terraced hillside vineyard located 900 meters above sea-level and spent two years in small French oak casks. Its deep purple color is followed by a thrilling bouquet of crème de cassis, crushed flowers, spice, and subtle vanilla-laced wood characteristics. These carry to a full-bodied Ribera del Duero that has a stacked mid-palate, building yet incredibly polished tannins, no hard edges, and a finish that goes on for nearly a minute. This is a blockbuster, sensational wine that delivers the goods. It’s unquestionably approachable today yet should benefit from another year or two and keep for 15-20. Bravo!" - Jeb Dunnuck (March 27th 2019), 98 pts
This one-hundred-percent Merlot has really nice, bright red fruit, rose petals, and a richness on the nose. Flavors of plum, mountain strawberry and mocha come together with a balanced mouth feel and a long finish. Though it was a cooler vintage, I feel we have still captured the powerfully elegant style for which we are known.
"The 2014 Columbia Valley Merlot (100% Merlot) is a ripe, black fruit, plum, leafy herbs and mineral-scented effort that has medium to full-bodied richness, moderate mid-palate depth and tons of upfront charm. It's going to drink nicely through 2024."
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #231, June 2017), 90 pts
"The aromas bring notes of dried herb, vanilla bean, wood spice and black cherry. The flavors are rich and luscious, supported by plump ripe tannins. The finish lingers."
- Wine Enthusiast (June 2017), 91 pts
Avennia Valery Red Blend is made from 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc
Valery is named for the patron saint of wine in the St. Emilion region that inspired it.
We started with old vine Merlot from a stony block in the heart of the Yakima Valley and added complex, aromatic Cabernet Franc from the Horse Heaven Hills. The result is a balanced, complex wine with the elegance and ethereal perfume that this blend of two of Washington’s best varietals are known for.
The nose on this wine is very perfumed, almost exotic with notes of fresh violets, red plum, winter mint, fresh herbs and crushed limestone qualities. The palate is poised and balanced, with red fruits and mocha powder encapsulated in limestone. The finish lingers delicately, with the Cabernet Franc asserting a light tobacco and herb note, giving depth. A compelling wine that will continue to unwind for 7-10 years in the cellar.
Tasted out of barrel and a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc, the 2014 Valery offers lots of leafy herbs, tobacco leaf, black cherries and a touch of dark chocolate in an elegant, focused, fresh style. The estate's Right Bank-styled release, it too should drink nicely in its youth, yet also evolve for 10-15 years. - Wine Advocate 91-93 Points
Grenache speaks loudly in the Bésoleil with notes of pomegranate, red raspberry, and strawberry leaf. The Counoise and Cinsualt bring bing cherry fruit and blueberry notes to the table, complicated by pepper and garrique. Mourvedre donates a wild meatiness to the blend, and a purple hue. Syrah rounds things out, adding texture, and flesh to the palate.
"Always an enjoyable, outstanding effort, the 2014 Grenache Besoleil offers classic notes of cherries, herbes de Provence, red plums and pepper in a fine, elegant, medium to full-bodied style. Drink it over the coming 7-8 years. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 91 pts
Medium red. Sexy, high-toned red cherry and red berry aromas showcase the wine's Grenache component (but this vintage features the lowest percentage to date of this variety). Bright, ripe raspberry and cherry flavors are complicated by smoky and peppery nuances. A very graceful red blend with sweet tannins and excellent persistence.
-- Stephen Tanzer 91 Points
Sweet, savory aromas lead the way, sort of a mineral-laden black fruit---dark berries and plums. Smoke, dried herbs, violet, meat, wet stones and a hint of ironstone complete the package. It penetrates yet is a broad fragrant expression. I've always felt the aromatic range of this wine has its foundation in the four clones we use.
The black fruits continue on the palate, with black cherry, dark plum and spices echoing the aroma. While it's rich, almost luxurious, there's a tannic foundation and a structured acidity. Floral and earthy, the dried herbs and stones emerge here too, along with tobacco, thyme and lavender. This is a food-lover's Syrah, with weight, brightness and dimension.
(Clones 174, 383, 99 and Phelps) Vineyards: Ciel du Cheval Ranch at the End of the Road Classic Red Mountain character defines the Syrah La Côte Rousse, despite being the product of a cooler vintage. The warm site vineyards, Ciel du Cheval and Ranch at the End of the Road accumulated more heat than our other sites and ripened the four Syrah clones to a greater extent; we’ve never seen Red Mountain deliver less than full physiological maturity, every vintage. Nevertheless this vintage retains a vibrancy and energy that isn’t often found on Red Mountain.
From the hot, windswept slopes of Red Mountain, the 2014 Syrah la Cote Rousse is a serious, tight, backwards effort that won’t be for those looking for instant gratification. Possessing classic Red Mountain red and black fruits, dried earth, pepper, dried spice and black olive characteristics, it’s full-bodied, beautifully textured, has flat out awesome purity and impeccable balance. Give it 4-5 years of cellaring and drink it over the following decade or so.
While there's a long history of terrific wines from this estate, I think they've hit another level in the past few vintages, and these latest releases show a purity, elegance and textural quality not found in early bottlings. I'm sure this is in part due to the creation of a second wine, and even a stricter selection for all of the top cuvees. In short, don't miss a chance to try these wines. 96 Points Wine Advocate
Betz Family La Serenne Syrah is 100% Syrah
La Serenne is the most reflective of the site/vintage dynamic of our three single-site 2012 Syrahs. Lovers of this wine know that its source, the Boushey Vineyard, is the highest altitude of the three vineyards and is typically the latest harvested. This cool site was accentuated by the cooler season and the results reflect the seriousness of this vineyard and its care.
An extraordinary, nearly impenetrable black purple color leads to a concentrated, inky aromatic impression: smoky black cherry and wild blackberry dominate, but a litany of supporting aromas is already emerging: smoke, violet, mushroom, roasted meat, Chinese 5 spice and minerals. It has a full attack on entry and a big, rich mouthfeel that goes on and on.
2012 is our 13th harvest from this site and these rows. We continue to be impressed with the chameleon nature of this vineyard, in cool years and hot, in heat spikes and cool springs: it provides us with surprises and opportunities at every harvest. While the themes of deep black fruits and pliant structure always surface, the nuance of this vineyard and its care (thank you, Dick Boushey) make it some of the most satisfying fruit we work with every harvest.
"The pure, elegant and textured 2014 Syrah la Serenne offers that classic violet and floral characteristics of the cuvee, as well as medium to full-bodied richness, lots of black raspberry fruit, fine, sweet tannin and a great finish. It’s not as powerful or concentrated as the La Cote Rousse, yet it’s a joy to drink and will cruise for a decade or more on its balance and purity. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 93 pts
Figaro Tinto Calatayud 2013 is 100% Garnacha, made from a selection of the best grapes grown in the oldest vineyards. While not truly an "oaked wine", a short stay in oak barrels provides a nice spicy flavor boost.
Tasting notes: Bright violet. Dark berry and cherry aromas show a jammy aspect. Supple and gently sweet, with good lift to its black raspberry and boysenberry flavors. Smooth and broad on the finish, leaving behind a hint of spiciness. Extremely easy to drink and an excellent value.
The Figaro Estate
Bodega Nino Jesus, founded in 1978 within the DO Calatayud denomination. This is an agricultural co-op specialized in grape and cherry production. There are 150 grape growers in the co-op, tending 330 hectares (815 arces) of vines with an average age of more than 30 years. The principal grape variety is Garnacha (also called Garnacha Tinta del Monte or "Red Garnacha from the hills"). Other varieties planted include Tempranillo, Syrah (recent) and the white Macabeo (a.k.a. Viura).
The Figaro Vineyards
The vines grow at altitudes between 650 and 880 meters above sea level on rocky/gravel soils with a minimal organic content. This, along with the vine's age and scant rainfall means very low yields in the range of 1.5 to 2 kilos per plant. Extreme temperature shifts, both seasonal and daytime to nighttime, make for fully ripened grapes which maintain their natural acidity.
Keermont Estate Reserve Red Blend is made from 36% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 10% Malbec, 6% Syrah, 4% Petit Verdot
The Keermont Estate Reserve is the winery's flagship red blend. With this blend they aim to bring to life the nuances of both the terroir at Keermont Vineyards and the particular vintage.
Venetian red in color, this wine exudes complex aromas of ripe cherry, wild berries, and dusty 'fynbos'. The palate has an array of ripe berries, cherry sherbet, crushed herbs and spices. Elegant but firm tannin affords the wine a long dry succulent finish.
All grapes are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Most of the vineyard parcels grow on deep red clay rich soil derived from sandstone and granite and are surrounded by indigenous vegetation. They lie between 250 and 400 meters above sea level in the valley between the Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountain ranges and have a variety of aspects from North East to West facing.
Small batches of grapes are specifically selected according to ripeness, harvested by hand and vinified separately. This process is carried out gently and naturally in open top fermenters using traditional methods only. This wine spent 22 months maturing in French oak barrels (20% new) before being bottled by hand without filtration
"This 2013 Estate Reserve was previously known as just "Keermont" since the estate wanted to keep the wine before release. A lot of fruit was lost to wind during flowering, ergo there is a little more Cabernet in the blend. The wine spent 22 months maturing in French oak barrels (20% new) before being bottled by hand without filtration on December 22, 2014. It has a precise, detailed bouquet of blackberry, raspberry, cold stone and just a touch of iodine. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp acidity and quite strict tannin, grippy in the mouth, yet very elegant, presenting a lingering, almost Saint-Julien-like finish. Give this another year in bottle and you will have a very fine wine in your possession. - Neal Martin"
- Vinous (August 29th 2018), 92 pts
"This is Keermont’s flagship wine, the first wine made under the label in 2007. It sees 2 years in oak and is kept in bottle another 2 years before release. Richly aromatic with spice and fynbos/herbal notes. Fabulous, layered texture of rich, dense dark red fruit seamlessly integrated with toasted oak. A blend of 36% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Fanc, 10% Malbec, 6% Syrah and 4% Petit Verdot. 14.5% alc. Alex has been gradually increasing the percent of Cabernet Franc in this wine over time."
- International Wine Review (January 2019), 92 pts
Manoir du Carra Beaujolais Cru Fleurie Clos des Deduits is made from 100% Gamay grapes coming from the lieu dit "Montee de la Tonne".
The vineyard measures 1.5 hectare and the average age of the vines is 50 years. Yield: 48 hl/ha
Manual harvest; Semi-carbonic maceration for 10-12 days; Aging in Foudre for 3-4 months; Slight filtration.
Intense red color, subtle fruity and floral aromas of violet, berry and cinnamon. Ample in the mouth, fruit flavors. Even better after a few years of cellaring.
Excellent with red and game meats, and cheeses.
"This single vineyard with vines up to 50 years old has produced a solid, dark and structured wine. Ripe fruits give the wine weight and juicy acidity, both of which will allow it to age. Drink from 2021. - Roger Voss"
- Wine Enthusiast (January 2020), 92 pts