Gessinger Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Alte Reben Caldo Infernale made from 100 percent Riesling.
Typical Devonian slate Riesling with fruity elegance and great durability. Big and rich wine with ripe peach and pear on the nose, honeyed, citrus and mineral aromas. Clean and pure, distinctive character. Very long finish.
"I loved the 2015, and the 2017 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Alte Reben Caldo Infernale is even better, offering a lush, rich, yet still vibrant style as well as gorgeous notes of honeyed nectarines, candied orange, peach, and exotic flowers. It packs plenty of sweetness and is medium to full-bodied, with solid acidity and a kiss of petrol and mineral nuances keeping it lively and fresh."
- Jeb Dunnuck (August 2020), 93 pts
Inglenook Rubicon is made from 93% Cabernet Sauvignon 7% Cabernet Franc.
Since its inaugural vintage in 1978, Rubicon has been the Estate's premier red wine, reflecting the soul of the property and expressing Francis Coppola's wish to create a Bordeaux-styled grand wine, that is, "a wine that can please contemporary taste, but with a historical aspect [that defines] our vineyards at their zenith."
Rubicon was named after the small river crossed by Julius Caesar in 49 B.C., declaring his intention to gain control of Rome, thereby launching a civil war among opposing factions. Over time the phrase "crossing the Rubicon" has come to signify any irreversible action with revolutionary intent or the outcome of which holds great risk. True to its uncommon depth, Inglenook's Rubicon continues to be a testament to the finely tuned rendering of a risk well-taken.
After four years of drought, a winter with average rainfall was welcome, as it provided ample soil moisture for a strong start to the 2016 growing season. Average late-spring temperatures and limited precipitation minimized the risk of frost during mid-May bloom, ensuring average yields. June closed with a heat spell, slowing vine canopy growth at the ideal time. Harvest of the blocks contributing to the 2016 Inglenook Rubicon blend occurred under optimum conditions from September 6th through September 27th.
Ideal harvest conditions endowed the 2016 Rubicon with the three elements associated with a truly great wine from the Rutherford appellation: complexity, balance, and elegance. The aromas are intense and focused with top notes of creamy, sweet vanilla, and black licorice wound around a core of exquisitely ripe black cherry and crème de cassis. This refinement extends directly to the palate, where the wine is both broad and deep with sensuous, silky tannins. Supremely balanced in terms of both opulence and complexity, ripe black fruits and an ultra-smooth texture provide an impressive crescendo to a very long finish.
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Rubicon is a wine of total precision and class. Translucent and energetic, with distinctly mid-weight structure, the 2016 is a wine of reserve, tension and breeding. Shy at first, the 2016 has a lot to offer, but it needs a number of years in bottle to be at its most expressive. Cedar, tobacco, licorice and wild cherry add the closing nuances.
- Antonio Galloni 97 Points
Alain Jaume Rasteau Les Valats is made from 90% Grenache, 10% Syrah, planted on clay and stones based soil.
40 Hectoliters / Hectare
Deep red garnet color. Aromas of fresh red berries. On the palate, the richness of the fruit and tannins harmonizes with the roundness of the wine.
The finish is long, with spicy touches and minerals notes. Complete and authentic.
Grapes planted on clay and stones based soil.
"Notes of wet sandstone, crushed earth and olive lend elegant restraint to crisp black cherry and blackberry here. A blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah, this concentrated wine is marked by savory tones of dried mint and sage. Fine but firm tannins and a mineral freshness accent the finish. It's ready now but should improve through 2030. - ANNA LEE C. IIJIMA"
- Wine Enthusiast (March 2019), 91 pts
"Earth, black olive and plummy fruit combine on the nose of the 2016 Rasteau Les Valats. It's a bit rugged, but in a good way, with savory tannins framing the dark flavors and lingering on the finish. Dark and dusty, it calls out for grilled meat. - Joe Czerwinski"
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #238, August 31st 2018), 90 pts
"The 2016 Rasteau Les Valats is another outstanding wine from this team, offering classic Rasteau earthy black fruits, gravelly minerality, and a touch of spice to go with a full-bodied, concentrated, powerful style on the palate. Based on 80% Grenache and 10% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre, it’s a powerful yet balanced 2016 that will keep for 7-8 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 2019), 90 pts
Argot Mosaic Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Sourced from both high-elevation and valley floor vineyards, located in the cool-climate AVAs of Sonoma Mountain, Bennett Valley and Petaluma Gap. A drama-free growing season allowed for a leisurely harvest of perfectly ripe, healthy fruit. Low-stress, clean ferments, led to an exceptionally pure Pinot Noir, laden with fruit, earth and spice.
"Medium ruby in color, the 2016 Pinot Noir Mosaic has a pretty nose of pink peppercorn, herbs and dusty earth over a core of savory black fruit and spices. Medium-bodied, it gives good layers of flavors in the mouth with concentrated black fruits and loads of spice, grainy tannins to support and a long, lingering finish. Yum! 600 cases produced.. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown" - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #237, June 2018), 92+ pts
No Syrah terroir in Sonoma County compares with Sonoma Mountain’s northwest crown—cool fog-affected mornings, sun-bathed afternoons, cooled by persistent coastal breezes, and temperate evenings. The soils in Steiner’s Syrah blocks — ashy and moondust-like, littered with decomposing sea bed — further contribute to the unique nature of this site. After a 3-vintage hiatus, I am thrilled to be back working with Steiner Vineyard’s Syrah. By its nature, this slow-to-ripen, cool-climate site produces fabulously deep, intense, structured wines. Now, raising a big, brawny Syrah is no rare act of alchemy. It is the wonder of Steiner’s terroir — a magical elegance and beauty, informing the inherent power, depth and intensity — that makes this bottling so special. 2016 produced a classic wine that deftly balances massive flavors and texture, while retaining vital freshness, and a palpable sense of cool. Production was low, so get it while you can. Simply a “WOW” wine, not to be missed.
VINEYARD: Steiner Vineyard. Located at 1,100 ft, on the northwest crown of Sonoma Mountain. CRUSH: Early morning harvest by hand, October 1st, cluster and berry sorted, destemmed and crushed. FERMENT: 5-day cold soaks, followed by 14 day native fermentation in open-top bins. AGING: 20 months, French oak, 100% new, mixture of 300L hogsheads and barrique shapes. Never racked prior to bottling. Bottled unfined, unfiltered.
"Refined and stylish, featuring a complex core wrapped in multilayered blackberry and blueberry flavors, laced with bitter chocolate, black licorice and smoky meat notes. Drink now through 2030.- Tim FISH"
- Wine Spectator Insider (January 15th 2020), 93 PTS
Argot Starstruck Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot (15-25 years old)
Sourcing from vineyards scattered throughout Napa Valley’s spectrum of terroirs, this wine arrives in the glass with a great complexity of personality. Remaining true to last vintage’s bottling, 2016’s Starstruck pours a vibrant purple, offering vibrant aromatics, regal structure and great freshness. Where this bottling has evolved, is by way of Sage Ridge’s warmer, up-valley, higher elevation, red-fruited power, which bolsters the dark blue/purple, cool-fruited character of the other three, cooler-climate Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards. Further, the addition of Merlot has added a wonderful juiciness in both flavor and structure. A palate’s tour of Napa Valley’s myriad terroir — sunbaked ridgetops; forested hillsides; orange-soils; cooling, maritime winds; dense, fog-shrouded mornings. While 2016 keeps with the theme from previous vintages, new flourishes have been added to the mix — a warmer, up-valley vineyard, along with a dollop of Merlot — to up the ante. This cuvee opens to an alluring approach-ability, vibrance, and kiss of juiciness, by way of baked red pie-fruits. On a beam of blood orange accents, a powerfully precise delineation of intense dark fruits flushes out the palate. A singularly delicious and complex representation of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley, that begs to be devoured.
Sourced from four Napa Valley vineyards — Suscol Ranch’s orange, iron-laden soils; Sugarloaf West’s fiercely steep hillside; Sugarloaf East’s south-facing, ferociously rocky “soils”; Sage Ridge’s geographically dramatic ridgetop vineyard in far-eastern Napa. CRUSH: Hand-harvested at night, to protect fruit integrity — Sage Ridge, 9/12, 9/26; Sugarloafs and Suscol, 10/13. Cluster sorted, destemmed, berry sorted by hand, fully crushed. FERMENT: 7-day cold soaks, an average of 20 days skin contact. Individual vineyards raised separately, blended shortly before bottling. AGING: 20 months in French oak, 80% new. Suscol Ranch barrels racked once at twelve months. Bottled unfined, unfiltered.
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Starstruck is a step up and offers more density and depth, as well as the classic purity of fruit that makes this vintage so compelling. Ripe, powerful notes of blueberries, cassis, green tobacco, and graphite all flow to a full-bodied Cabernet that has loads of fruit, ripe tannins, good acidity, and the class to evolve for upwards of two decades. Bravo!"
- Jeb Dunnuck (January 2019), 94 pts
Gessinger Zeltinger Schlossberg Kabinett is 100 percent Riesling.
The Zeltinger Schlossberg region is known for its fine weathering Devonian slate and extreme steep slopes. The wine offers a pure and bright bouquet of apricot, peach, litchi, ripe fruit aromas. Elegance and complexity on the palate, long flavors, well-balanced, rich and mineral.
A long and persistent finish.
Weingut Gessinger joined the Bernkastel Ring in 1899 and for years their wines only appeared at their September auction. Gessinger is quite small, less than 2,000 cases and all his whites are 100% Riesling planted on Devon Slate (best soil type of the area).
The Weingut Albert Gessinger Estate
The Gessinger family migrated from Northern Italy in the late 1500’s and settled in the middle Mosel region of Zelting, where they worked as artistic masons on churches being constructed in the area. Quickly, they found themselves drawn to viticulture, the prime occupation of the region since Roman times and before. Weingut Albert Gessinger was founded in 1680. In 1820, Peter Gessinger, through marriage, acquired additional vineyards in Zeltingen and Gessinger became one of the first family owned companies in the middle Mosel dedicated exclusively to viticulture. In the 1890s, Weingut Gessinger joined the first organization dedicated to supporting quality wine production in Germany, the Union of Winery Owners of Koblenz. In 1899, Weingut Gessinger joined the Bernkastel Ring, an exclusive group to which they have belonged for over 100 years. The members of the Ring, the finest producers in Germany, sell select wines to connoisseurs from around the world. Today, Alfred Gessinger owns the property and continues the family tradition of wine making going back centuries.
The Weingut Albert Gessinger Vineyard
The Estate consists of 8 acres or 3.2 hectares. The plantings are broken down as follows: 80% Riesling, 15% Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir), 5% Dornfelder (new red wine clone developed in 1956). All vineyards are located in the middle Mosel town of Zelting. Weingut Gessinger joined the Bernkastel Ring in 1899 and for years their wines only appeared at their September auction. Gessinger is quite small, less than 2,000 cases and all his whites are 100% Riesling planted on Devon Slate (best soil type of the area).
Michel Rolland, Pomerol vintner and consultant to many of the world's top wineries, teamed with Washington State wine visionary Allen Shoup to produce this limited release wine.
With its intense color and inviting aromas of dark berries, licorice, baking spice and a hint of smoke, the Pedestal is a bold wine that leaves a lasting impression. Dark fruit flavors integrated with sweetness from the barrel and richness from the tannins come together seamlessly, lingering across a structured mid-palate and lengthy finish.
Winemaking: Hand-harvested grapes were double-sorted to remove green material that might impart harsh tannins, then most of the lots were cold soaked to build richness and flavor before undergoing whole-berry fermentation in 55L upright French wood tanks. This, combined with gentle pump-overs throughout fermentation, enhanced the wine’s color, texture and mouthfeel. The finished wine was aged 22 months in 85% new French oak barrels.
"The 2015 Pedestal Merlot from Long Shadows is a blend of 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Petit Verdot aged 22 months in 85% new French oak barrels. Crème de cassis, wood smoke, scorched earth, and graphite characteristics all emerge from this rich, full-bodied, voluptuous beauty that has more mid-palate depth and richness than any other Merlot made in the state. With ample tannin, it will benefit from a year or three and keep for 15. It's a gorgeous wine."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 96 pts
Number 83 in Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Wines of 2018
Penfolds Bin 149 Wine of the World Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
AVA Blend: 85.1% Rutherford + Oakville, 14.9% South Australia
Aromas, are focused, with sweet iced tea, savory caperberries, French polish, and heady barrel ferment characters of mocha and kirsch tapering to a precise point. Further notes include grated ginger, cola, green olive, caraway seeds, and a Bordelaise sauce richness. Classically Penfolds in character, yet altogether different in structure, the palate features fine, close-knit tannins and a menthol lift with flavors of cedar, sandalwood, and roasted meats. Bright acidity provides succulence and a sustained finish.
Penfolds Bin 149 derives its name from the percentage of South Australian Cabernet Sauvignon that’s woven into the blend. Its unique worldly disposition sets it apart from other California wines and is a testament to the power of the legendary Penfolds House Style. A wine both distinctive and of distinction, Bin 149 showcases a multidimensional palate of strong Napa Valley tannins and intense dark fruit, with an Australian twist.
Lots of blackberry, currant, light chocolate and hazelnut. This is rather dense and plush, but shows impressive layers of tannins that have a rough-velvet texture. Juicy and intense fruit. The grapes come from the AVAs of Rutherford, Calistoga, Oakville and then spread across Napa. 14.9% comes from South Australia. A global wine. In the end, it’s nicely toned and curated. Needs three or four years to come together. Try after 2025.
-James Suckling 97 Points