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
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
This wine reveals a complex and elegant bouquet that combines ripe fruit, leather and a fine woodiness. Round and warm on the attack, the palate is supported by solid tannins and a pleasant freshness in this harmonious and well textured wine.
The Merlot bring fruity notes and minerality from the clay-limestone terroir, enhanced by the incredibly expressive and spicy Cabernet Franc.
"A terrific effort from this large and immaculately maintained property on the clay-limestone slopes of the Côtes de Castillon, the 2019 d'Aiguilhe exhibits aromas of cherries and cassis mingled with notions of burning embers, licorice and warm spices. Medium to full-bodied, layered and concentrated, with lively acids, powdery tannins and a mineral finish, it's intelligently matured in tank and large-format oak as well as small barriques. - William Kelley"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (April 2022), 92 pts
"The 2019 d'Aiguilhe has a really lovely bouquet of ample black cherry, mulberry and light floral scents, very pure and delineated. The palate is medium-bodied with cedar-infused red fruit. While not as exuberant as the aromatics, this is nicely detailed and quite poised on the finish. No, I still cannot pronounce its name, but this Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux is well worth seeking out. - Neal Martin"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (February 2022), 92 pts
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
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
Alejandro Bulgheroni Lithology Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 99% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Cabernet Franc.
Here the Cabernet comes to us typically flawless, and the wines are as such. There is blue fruit, blueberries, black plums, blackberries, and cassis to the aromas, as well as stones, mineral, chocolate, fresh tobacco, and subtle herbs. It is incredibly full-bodied, but at the same time effortlessly drinkable, with ultra-smooth tannins and a positive, long, upturned finish. 70-75% new French oak is the norm for us with Dr. Crane, and those flavors are absorbed to become a vanillin complexity, sweetness, and length. An unbelievable wine.
You don’t see many Cabernet Franc-dominated wines from this site, but the 2019 Cabernet Franc Lithology Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard is certainly impressive. Offering more herbal, chocolate, gravelly earth, and espresso aromas and flavors, it has full-bodied richness and, as expected, is a powerful, opulent expression of this noble variety. The blend is 83% Cabernet Franc and 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 20 months in 80% new French oak. It will benefit from short-term bottle age and drink nicely for 20 years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
Lyrarakis Assyrtiko Voila is made from 100% Assyrtiko.
Description: Our family discovered the quality potential of East Crete since the 70's. Originally on the “Vóila” plain and subsequently in the extended surroundings, we discover exceptional vineyards where the great grape variety Assyrtiko thrives.
Tasting notes: Bright platinum color. Pure floral aromas with ginger spices and delicate notes of ripe citrus. Marvelously ripe grapes have given this wine a crispy and rich mouthfeel with a mineral and chalky character.
Alcohol: 13.5% ABV
Acidity: 7 g/L
RS: 3.43 g/L
Region: Voila area, Sitia, east part of Crete
Sun Exposure: Northeast
Pruning Technique: Head trained, spur pruned
Altitude: 580m above sea level
Irrigation: Not irrigated
Varieties: Assyrtiko 100%
Winemaking: The harvest was performed by hand seeking to obtain a proper fruit maturity. Skin contact was carried out at 12°C for 16 hours. Fermented in a stainless steel tank, this wine had a slow fermentation rate that lasted for more than 15 days.
Food pairing: All seafood, grilled fish, as well as white meat cooked with lemon.
"Assyrtiko has been growing on the Voila plain in eastern Crete since the 1990s, planted by farmers on the advice of the local co-op. Started from cuttings brought in from Santorini, the vines have taken to the place, a windy plateau at nearly 2,000 feet in altitude. This wine captures a sense of the coolness at that height, and the briskness of the wind, in its bright, quenching acidity; it also offers a sense of expansiveness in its breadth and round texture. The wine feels generous but firm, savory with herbal notes that recall the mountain tea that's ubiquitous on the island. In other words, it's a trip to Crete for $20, and available to ayone sheltering in place."
- Wine & Spirits (August 2020), 93 pts - BEST BUY
The Lyrarakis Estate is a family winery which has been producing high quality wines since 1966 with a strong focus on rare local varieties and producing single variety wines.
The family is credited with the revival of two ancient Cretan varieties, Dafni and Plyto while a third “vineyard treasure”, the indigenous Melissaki, is recently added to the credits.
Surrounded by the idyllic setting of the vineyards and the Lassithi mountains we offer you the opportunity to enjoy nature and discover local varieties and wines distinguished by the uniqueness of their origin and heritage.
The founders of the Lyrarakis Estate decided 40 years ago to get actively involved with winemaking in their native land. The company now known as GEA (Alagni Agricultural Enterprises) was founded in 1966. The family has always used its privately owned vineyards. At that time, the dominant varieties included Vilana, Kotsifali and Mantilaria. After careful selection of the Vilana strain, the first organised planting of this particular variety was completed and served to supply the farmers of the region. But the family’s grape-growing did not stop there. In the late 1980s, there was an attempt to save two rare native varieties, Dafni and Plyto, from the Phylloxera blight. Efforts were ultimately successful as indicated by the wines of the same name first made available by the Lyrarakis company in the early 1990s.
The village of Alagni, from which the Lyrarakis family originated, is located in the heart of Heraklion Prefecture, in the most mountainous area of Crete’s Peza region with the extensive wine-producing tradition (stone-carved wine presses from the Venetian era are scattered throughout the region).
Today, the family vineyard is 15 hectares (37 acres) and produces seven single-variety wines from native grape varieties: The selection of products is rounded off with combined vinification of native and foreign varieties, the best-known of which include Kotsifali-Syrah and Cabernet-Merlot.
Loring Cooper Jaxon Pinot Noir is made from 100% Pinot Noir
Aged 10 Months in French Oak (15% New)
A special blend in honor of Cooper Jaxon Loring - the next generation of Loring. We don't limit the wine to any
specific AVA, but rather look for a blend that is big, bold, and super tasty!
Juicy and vibrant, with aromas of raspberry puree, blackberry and spring flowers.
Vines are planted on Arroyo Seco Sandy Loam soils on the following vineyard sites: Rancho La Viña, Kessler-Haak, Clos Pepe, John Sebastiano, Aubaine, Rosella's and Sierra Mar.
Vinification is traditionnal with minimal intervention.
Wine went thought Malo-Lactic fermentation and was bottled without filtration.
Clones: Pisoni, 113, 115, 667, 777, 23
Pairs well with steak and lamb, spicy foods & mild cheeses.
"This fun and whimsical label from Brian Loring delivers his rich style of Pinot Noir at an affordable price, offering aromas of black cherry, forest herbs, damp sage and crushed slate. The palate is earthy, offering flavors of dark berry, fennel frond, roasted meat and clove. Matt Kettmann"
- Wine Enthusiast (June 2019), 92 pts - Editors' Choice
Hightower Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain is made from 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot.
As Hightower Cellars' signature wine, Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic Red Mountain wine – bold and full of the flavors that make this region so special. As much as possible, Tim and Kelly Hightower take a non-interventionist approach to winemaking. They place great emphasis on vineyard selection, picking, pressing, and blending so that Hightower wines are naturally beautiful and free from pretense. They let the powerful and concentrated fruit from Red Mountain speak for itself. The result is a collection of well-balanced, nuanced wines that reveal something new and interesting each time you open a bottle.
Aromas of tart blueberry and lush red cherry dominate the nose, while firm tannins and full body lend structure to this inky, pigmented wine. The palate features notes of dark fruit, fresh cut wood, and dried tobacco. This wine is an excellent candidate for decanting, as the aromas evolve wonderfully over time to express softer, lush fruit and hints of herbs and spices.
Red Mountain AVA 100% (Hightower Estate Vineyard 56%, E&E Shaw Vineyard 44%)
New Oak 71%, Neutral Oak 29% (American 67%, French 11%, European 11%, Hungarian 11%)
Un-fined and un-filtered
Pairs with grilled red meat, fig and olive tapenade, bacon wrapped dates.
"Notes of spiced red and black fruit with sweet tobacco and wet earth. Medium-bodied, juicy and fruit-forward with crunchy tannins and chalky tannins. Flavorful dark-fruited finish. Drink now."
- James Suckling (May 2023, 91 pts