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
B Leighton Petit Verdot is made from 100 percent Petit Verdot.
Beautiful, lively and focused at first approach. Expressing black cassis, blackberry, brambles and thyme combining with crushed gravel, pencil shavings and floral notes. It is a fantastic expression of Petit Verdot that is rich and velvet on the palate, all at the same time. So much depth and length it seriously takes your breath away.
Lastly, the 2016 Petit Verdot comes from a higher elevation block and was brought up in 40% new French oak. It has a great bouquet of white pepper, chocolatey dark fruits, tobacco, and a kiss of violets to go with a full-bodied, incredible elegant profile on the palate. You don’t find Petit Verdot with this level of finesse very often, and it has silky tannins, good mid-palate concentration, and a great finish. It’s another stunning wine from Leighton I’d be thrilled to drink over the coming 10-15 years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
Betz Family Besoleil is made from 55% Grenache, 23% Mourvèdre, 11% Syrah and the rest Cinsault,
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.
"Attractively complex aromas of cherries, kirsch, white pepper, spice, potpourri and licorice, it's medium to full-bodied, sappy and succulent, with velvety structuring tannins and bright acids." 94 pts - Robert Parkers Wine Advocate
"Bright raspberry and red-plum fruits with attractive depth and freshness. This has all you want in a Rhône-style blend. Good depth of flavor and focused structure." 93 pts - James Suckling
"Moving more and more from Olsen Vineyard, which is 20 miles northwest of Red Mountain (where they love working with the grower, who is proactive and responsive), the medium ruby/purple-colored 2016 Besoleil is 55% Grenache, 23% Mourvèdre, 11% Syrah and the rest Cinsault, all aged in a mix of neutral barrels. It offers beautiful notes of red plums, blueberries, white and black pepper and herbs de Provence, medium to full-bodied richness, a silky, elegant style, and integrated acidity. It's another beautiful vintage of this wine that will keep for a decade." 92 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck
Cabrieres Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge Les Silex is made from 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah .
The vineyard is situated on the high tablelands, which are characteristic of the northern area of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The terrain consists mainly of alpine diluvium and chalky Miocenian soil, with large flint pebbles covering the surface. These pebbles conserve the heat of the day during the night, thus avoiding too much evaporation.
This 2016 has opened up and is drinking great right now. A blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. Elegant cherry red color, with expressive notes of red fruits (strawberry and raspberry). Mellow tannins, well-balanced on the palate. I feel I need to point out the freshness, it is bright and lively on the palate, something we don’t see a lot of in this region. This also makes it extremely food friendly as it can hold up to fatty proteins.
Very good with white meat, red meat, charcuterie and cheese.
"Silex refers to the large, flint pebbles that cover this northern Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyard and it's hard not to notice their salty, smoky undertones in this deeply fruity, penetrating red. The palate of this unoaked blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah highlights youthful, ripe black-cherry and plum flavors coated in soft, silky tannins and a lift of minerality. Delicious young, the wine should hold through 2025. - ANNA LEE C. IIJIMA"
- Wine Enthusiast (October 2021), 94 pts
Crown Point Estate Selection is made from 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec.
The 2016 Crown Point Estate Selection exhibits a heady aromatic array of baking spices, ripe red and black fruits, with deep intonations of earth and minerals. The palate is elegant and bright, with appealing acids and nuanced notes of savory mocha and dried herbs. Polished and seamless, the tannins finish with a comet-like trail of textural opulence highlighted by glossy flavors of baked berry pie and warm toast. Recommended drinking window: now through 2030s.The 2016 Estate Selection is representative of all five red Bordeaux varieties. The selection process starts in the vineyard and continues on through the winemaking process: only the best lots make the final blend. All blocks were harvested & fermented separately. The individual components were blended after 12 months in barrel. Total time in 225 liter French oak barrels was 26 months.
Deeply colored, the 2016 Estate Selection checks in as 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec that was brought up 26 months in 75% new French oak. Deeply colored, it has a smoking good bouquet of crème de cassis, smoke tobacco, lead pencil, camphor, and hints of chocolate. This gives way to a powerful, opulent Cabernet Sauvignon that has plenty of sweet tannins, a layered, multi-dimensional texture, no hard edges, and an awesome finish. I’d happily put this beauty in a lineup of top Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and blends.
-Wine Enthusiast 97 Points
There’s an impressive amount of complexity on the nose of this bottling by winemaker Adam Henkel, from crushed graphite and concentrated black strawberry to cinnamon pastry, licorice and a brush of herbs. The sip is intense, with leathery but chiseled tannins presenting flavors of charred black currant, licorice, black olive, dried flower and white pepper
-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
Domaine Sipp Mack Alsace Pinot Gris Grand Cru Rosacker is made from 100 percent Grand Cru Pinot Gris.
Rigor and diligence were the key words for this emotional 2016 vintage!
The year starts with heavy rainfall and low temperatures, severely delaying the growing cycle. The month of May sees temperatures increase and the tropical atmosphere favors the development of mildew. Finally, the dry and sunny summer allowed our heavy soils to avoid maturity blockages linked to water stress. The 2016 harvest started in early September and ended 7 weeks later, a record!
In the cellar, the sanitary condition was very good, the wines developed freshness, complexity and fine, ripe acidity.
Fresh notes of mango and peach, enhanced by a sweet sensation, dominate the palate. The finish is long thanks to a lively acidity. It will go perfectly with white meats, firm fish and cheeses with character.
Ripe, pristine notes of yellow pear on this wine's nose come with notions of creamy banana and vanilla. The palate carries rich, concentrated fruit, but in a precise fashion that channels the rounded ripeness into smooth generosity. A vein of freshness and smidge of sweetness give the fruit staying power and verve. Together they present an off-dry wine with immense potential and elegance. Drink by 2045.
-Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
Lyrarakis White is made from 75% Muscat of Spina and 25% Vidiano.
Description: An aromatic white wine with an exciting, crispy mouthfeel, vinificated by combining indigenous and international grape varieties, which have perfectly acclimatized on our island.
Tasting Notes: Bright and lively pale yellow color. Mature aromas of grapefruit and stone fruit enhanced by a persistent presence of rose petals. Elegant and fine balanced with pleasant acidity and plushy finish.
Alcohol: 12% ABV
Acidity: 6.39 g/L
RS: 1.02 g/L
Region: Alagni area - central Crete
Soil: Clay - loam
Pruning Technique: Cordon trained, spur pruned
Altitude: 480m above sea level
Irrigation: Not irrigated
Varieties: 75% Muscat of Spina and 25% Vidiano
Winemaking: Hand-harvested in the last week of August (exact harvest time defined by berry sensory assessment, to obtain the optimum taste and aromatic balance). Grapes are vinificated separately. After de-stemming, the almost uncrushed berries remain in the press under reductive conditions for about 8 to 10 hours. Blending was performed using tasting results, choosing the ones with the best characteristics of texture and freshness. Matured on fine lees for 3 months.
Food pairing: Sea food, Thai or spicy cuisine and a large variety of salads.
"Classy muscat aromatics with serious peach undertones and minerality on the nose. The palate displays refreshing lingering acidity ."
- 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards, 91 pts - SILVER MEDAL
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.
Piron Chenas Quartz is made from 100% Gamay - 60+ years old .
The Chenas Cru is the smallest Beaujolais Cru, not bigger than Côte Rôtie. This is a rare wine. The estate's unique parcel spreads over 22.2 acres of vines on a very steep slope facing East, situated between 310 and 380 meters above sea level. Granitic soils are covered with Quartz crystals and give the wine its own personality.
The vineyard is co-owned by Domnique Piron and Christian Lameloise, whose family owned Lameloise restaurant in Burgundy (3*** Michelin). Decanter classified the wine in the 3 best best bottles of Crus Beaujolais in 2015 (vintage 2013).
Hand harvest, sorting table, part destemming. A first stage of semi carbonic maceration during few days is followed by a more classic Burgundy maceration with « remontages » and « pigeages », for a total of 18-20 days, depending on the vintage.
30% of the wine are aged in recent French oak foundre and oak barrels (no new oak) during 12 months to bring roundness and complexity to the final assemblage.
Pairs well with complex dishes, meats, leaver, and why not a little pigeon with peas and diced bacon.
"Beautifully attractive violets and red flowers here, carrying a very fresh impression, as well as an exciting and vibrant yet elegant finish. Exceptionally pure and focused. Drink or hold."
- James Suckling (February 2019), 93 pts
Pierre Olivier Brut Vin Mousseux NV is made from 100% Airen.
A value sparkling brut, made with Airen grapes from around the French/Spanish border (next to the Pyrenees). This is a new Kysela Project.
The bubbles are obtained using the Charmat method, named after Eugene Charmat, where the second fermentation takes places in a large, closed pressurized tank. It is different from the Methode Champanoise as the secondary fermentation doesn't take place in the bottle.
Nickel & Nickel Bear Track Cabernet Sauvignon is made from Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Bear Track Vineyard is planted in three terraced blocks on the eastern hillsides of Napa Valley, just outside of the Howell Mountain AVA. The cool climate and iron-rich, volcanic ash soils result in small, tight clusters of concentrated fruit. Ample hang time before harvest yields a Cabernet Sauvignon with intense, dark fruit flavors and integrated tannins.
Fefinanes Albarino de Albarino is 100 percent Albarino
Fresh fruit aromas of apricot and peach slices with notes of lemon and green apple. Pretty notes of honey and wet nutmeg, and the mouth is round, clean, and pleasant with baked apple, honey, and lemon.
This is a classic Albariño which is good young, but actually improves over two to three years and remains quite drinkable for up to five years. Owner Juan Gil comments that the wine really starts to come into its own in June/July, and he actually prefers it 18 or more months after it's made. A Fefiñanes "vertical" of three or four vintages can provide some most interesting surprises.
"One of those textbook Albariños that delivers the goods, year in, year out, this is a very pure expression of the grape, with no lees ageing at all. Sourced from vineyards in the Cambados sub-region, all on decomposed granite soils, it has lovely pear and lime zest flavours and engaging focus, minerality and stony freshness. Hard to beat at the price. 2022-26"
- Tim Atkin (Rias Baixas Special Report 2022), 93 pts