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Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore is made from 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, 9% Cabernet Franc.
The Ornellaia 2017 masterfully interprets what was a particularly warm and sunny year. The intense and dark color heralds a wine of beautiful concentration; the nose, rich and complex, releases scents of ripe red fruits, accompanied by notes of sweet tobacco and vanilla. The taste reveals an Ornellaia of great balance, a combination of firmness and pleasant freshness.
Rich, deep dark ruby with a violet shimmer. Intense and clearly laid out nose, smells of blueberries, dark currants, with some cardamom and liquorice. Lardy and full in approach and course, lots of ripe dark berry fruit, fine, grippy tannin, firm pressure in the finale, ends on berry fruit and liquorice.
-Falstaff 97 Points
A big, rich wine for the vintage, yet poised and lively with firm, chewy tannins that give form and intensity to the wine. It shows loads of blackberry, blackcurrant and walnut flavors. Ripe yet polished tannins. Give this three or four years to come together
-James Suckling 97 Points
A stunning wine, the 2017 Ornellaia offers a captivating interplay of richness and energy. Picking early was the key. Young vine Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc were harvested in August for the first time ever. In the glass, the 2017 offers up an enticing mélange of mocha, cedar, tobacco and licorice, with soft curves that add to its sensuality and allure. The 2017 is sumptuous and racy, as Ornellaias from warmer years tend to be, but it is not at all heavy or overdone. In a word: superb!
- Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
Our production philosophy revolves around Ornellaia’s obsession with excellence – at all levels. Every choice we make is of absolute importance and implies an all-consuming attention to detail. At no point in the production process are shortcuts allowed or tolerated, and this is how we succeed harvesting grapes that are of the very highest quality irrespective of the climatic conditions in that particular year.
During the harvest period analysis and empiric testing enables us to determine which grapes to pick and in which order. The tasting of the grapes allows us to better ascertain the ripeness of the tannins and the balance within the bunches in order to establish the optimum harvest time and the vinification technique for the grapes from each parcel of land. We then subject each and every grape to a double selection process. On the first table the quality of the bunches is checked, while during a second control every single piece of vegetation is removed.
The grapes from each vineyard ferment separately in individual tanks, in this way each individual base wine (of which there are more than 60) contributes its own character to creation of the final blend according to the specific conditions of the vineyard area from which it comes : a combination of soil type, climatic exposition, grape variety, … Only after a period of 12 months of ageing in French oak barrels will the base wines be selected and blended according to 2 principal criteria : the elegant expression required by Ornellaia and the character of vintage itself.
Klipsun Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain is made from 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 4% Malbec and 8% Syrah.
The 2017 vintage started out with a cool, wet winter, with significantly above average snowfall in eastern Washington. Red Mountain had a 24% increase in rainfall in 2017 over the 10 year average. Going into spring, the cool trend continued. As a result, bud break at Klipsun was behind the historical average and significantly behind the most recent warm vintages of 2013 2016. Bloom was also slightly delayed. Because of the cool weather, set was lighter than usual which translated into significantly less fruit in 2017.
The early part of the summer saw average temperatures followed by above average temperatures in July and August. As a result, he at accumulation was a bit above average for the season, despite the cool start. And because of the smaller than normal yield, harvest began right on schedule, perhaps even a bit early for some of the whites. In the second half of September, when Klipsun traditionally harvests all the reds, the temperatures cooled considerably, which delayed ripening. This allowed for luxurious amounts of hang time without the threat of increased sugar accumulation, stretching harvest into the first week of October. A s a result, all fruit going into the 2017 Klipsun Cabernet Sauvignon could be picked at perfect sugars levels with great fruit maturity and flavors. Overall, the quality of t he 2017 harvest is as high as the 2016. However, the style is slightly different. The 2017 wine has a firmer structure, more spice & mocha in the nose and will take a few mo re years than the 2016 to reach a perfect balance between fruit and tannin.
The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain is composed of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 4% Malbec and 8% Syrah, which immediately emanates with aromas of dark roasted espresso bean, toasted oak, dried tobacco and dusty black fruit tones of cassis, currant and blackberries covered in dark cocoa powder. Full-bodied, generous in complexity and still tight in the mouth, the wine unpacks layers of cedar and vanilla tones with dusty purple flowers and bitter dark chocolate across the mid-palate, giving way to fine-grained tannins that will loosen with time. As the wine sits on the palate, the 100% French oak regimen is on full display for all to see. The wine lingering long and continues to evolve in the mouth, ending with a drying finish that highlights the oak and terroir. It’s still a baby, and I would keep it in the cellar for another few years before popping the cork—this will effortlessly coast for more than a decade. The 2017 vintage marks the second release of this wine, with 6,300 bottles produced. It comes from its namesake vineyard, first planted in 1984 on Red Mountain. I’m keeping my eye on this producer. I’m impressed, and even though the oak may be a bit much at the moment, it's still delicious. - Wine Advocate 94+ Points
Blind Justice Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 76% Cabernet Sauvignon and 24% Cabernet Franc.
Blind Justice is a pure expression of Napa Cabernet exclusively from Beckstoffer’s ‘To-Kalon’ vineyard. The true heart of the famed Oakville appellation, this vineyard highlights the decadent essence of Napa Cabernet to perfection, with vines rooted in loamy alluvial soil that adds depth, nuance, and structure. An absolute stunner, and the flagship of the Justice offerings, this is the wine that epitomizes the adventurous and pioneering soul of the Napa Valley.
Baking spices like clove and cocoa jump out of the glass and are then met with aromas of ripe black cherry and vanilla. The cherry shows up again on the palate along with other dark red and purple fruits. This wine lingers for days with a rich core and luscious mouthfeel.
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Blind Justice Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard is straight-up terrific. Based on 76% Cabernet Sauvignon and 24% Cabernet Franc from a handful of blocks in this great site in Oakville, aged 20 months in 78% new oak, it has a beautiful cassis, wildflower, and sappy herb-driven bouquet as well as a rich yet seamless style on the palate. This full-bodied beauty pairs richness and elegance perfectly, has ripe tannins, terrific balance, and is going to evolve for two decades.
-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
Thierry Mortet Gevrey Chambertin Vigne Belle is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
The wine is produced from 20 different parcels (3 hectares total). The soils are a mix of clay and silt.
The age of wines varies between 15 to 60 years.
Yield: 45 hl/ha
Production: 15,000 bottles on average.
Manual harvest with a selection of the grapes; sorting table; 100% destemming; maceration for 15 days, cold stabilization for 4-5 days; M-L.; racking twice a day. Fermentation in stainless steel tanks for 4 months. Aging in oak barrels for 12 months (new and 1 or 2 year old barrels). Kieselguhr filtration before bottling.
The wine offers a subtle and complex nose. It displays a sweet and delicate mouthfeel. Very nice wine with black fruit aromas. Dense, good concentration. Good length and well integrated oak.
Flint, dark stone and tar notions flash momentarily at the first sniff of this wine, before red-cherry notions with an edge of dark chocolate take over. The palate expresses itself in juicy, rounded but still fresh fruit that is dense and smooth at its core, ripe and dusted with cocoa. Tannins are fine and seemingly elastic, smoothing the fruit and concentration.
- Wine Enthusiast (December 2020), 93 pts
Fullerton Three Otters Pinot Noir is made from 100% Pinot Noir - 40 years old
11 months in 25% new Oak and 75% neutral
Bella Vida Vineyard is perched high in the heart of the Dundee Hills. This picturesque site provides elegant fruit from the storied Jory soils of the AVA. LIVE certified.
Aromas of cherry and raspberry flow into finely-tuned layers of cedar, cocoa, licorice, and baking spices. The palate pulses with energy as the silky tannins and gorgeous mid-palate captivate your senses. A radiant and profound experience.
A co-fermentation of Dijon clones 113, 667, and 777, this wine expresses the volcanic soils of the Dundee Hills elegantly, yet powerfully. Upon arrival, the grapes were immediately de-stemmed into an open-top two-ton fermenter. Following a seven day cold soak, the wine started fermenting slowly at a cool temperature. To manage extraction, we utilized one to two punch-downs and one pump-over per day, with two rack-and-returns at the beginning and middle of fermentation. As fermentation neared the end, the must was heated to achieve a peak temperature of 94° F resulting in optimum extraction, and then we immediately chilled the wine to extend the time on the skins, while switching to one pump-over per day to limit harsh, seed-tannin extraction. After a total of 19 days on the skins, we drained and pressed the wine, keeping the free-run and press fractions separate. This bottling contains only the free run fraction. Following two days of settling, the wine was racked to barrel and aged for 11 months in 25% new French oak and one month in tank prior to being bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Vivid red. Displays fresh red/dark berry and pungent floral aromas, along with suggestions of cola, mocha and five-spice powder. Appealingly sweet and energetic on the palate, offering intense black raspberry, cherry-cola, spicecake and rose pastille flavors that tighten up slowly on the back half. Fine-grained tannins frame the well-defined finish, which lingers with impressive, red fruit liqueur-driven persistence. (all de-stemmed fruit and 25% new French oak). - Josh Raynolds" - Antonio Galloni's Vinous (June 2019), 93 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
J Lohr Signature Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 80% Cabernet Sauvignon 6% Cabernet Franc 6% Saint Macaire 4% Petit Verdot 4% Malbec.
J. Lohr Signature Cabernet Sauvignon was first produced to honor the 80th birthday of founder Jerry Lohr. This limited release was specially selected and blended from the exceptional 2016 vintage in Paso Robles. It is both a tribute to Jerry's pioneering efforts in the region and our red wine portfolio's ultimate expression of Cabernet Sauvignon. VINEYARDS & CELLAR Beck Vineyard, in the Creston District of Paso Robles, is a unique, high elevation site that sits at 1,700 feet above the early morning fog line. Its calcareous soils and cooling afternoon winds are perfect for growing Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cabernet from this vineyard ripens early with excellent color, purity of fruit, and phenolic maturity. Incorporation of Cabernet Franc brings freshness to the blend, while the rare Bordeaux variety, Saint Macaire, brings density and a savory character. Petit Verdot and Malbec add structure, color, and a component of bright fruit. The hand-harvested grapes were held separate at harvest and berry-sorted into six-ton open top tanks for fermentation. Maceration took place on the skins for five days, before early pressing to achieve ideal tannin extraction. Aged 19 months in 100% new French oak from coopers Nadalie and Sylvain.
Almost opaque in the glass, this luxury bottling entices with intense aromas of black currant and blackberry sauce on the nose, with savory hints of dark olive and caramel spice. It's quite dry on the palate, where licorice, violet and cassis flavors linger amidst the polished tannins
-Wine Enthusiast 95 Points
Livia Fontana Barbera d'Alba Superiore is made from 100 percent Barbera.
Organoleptic characteristics: intense ruby red color. Fresh and intense aromas with currants and berries notes. Warm, full, rich and persistent taste, full body. Suitable for long aging.
Excellent accompaniment to warm appetizers, rich first courses, red meat and the medium-seasoned cheeses.
Xavier Vignon Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge is made from 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre and 15% Syrah.
A clear and very expressive nose with notes of black fruits, spices and licorice. The mouth reveals tanins that are already supple with a great balance.
The finish is long, on black fruits, licorice and a slight salinity.
Xavier Vignon Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge is made from grilled rib of beef, roasted duck with figs, boar stew.
Vignon's 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape looks to be the best example he's put together to date of this cuvée. Full-bodied and supple, it comes at you with layers of fruit, ranging from stone fruit and raspberries through to blueberries and cola.
-Wine Advocate 91-93 Points
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 Lirac from this estate is the 2017 Lirac Clos de Sixte. It's another deep purple-colored effort offering powerful notes of ripe black cherries, melted licorice, violets, and pepper. Full-bodied, forward, ripe, and flamboyantly styled, it's packed with fruit and texture. Drink it over the coming 4-6 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (August16th 2019), 92 pts
"Juicy and compact still, with concentrated plum and black currant paste flavors coated with licorice and backed by a roasted alder spine. Lingering bay and menthol hints too. Drink now through 2026. 3,000 cases made, 1,800 cases imported. - JM"
- Wine Spectator (October 2021), 91 pts
Chateau Mazane Vacqueyras Rouge is made from 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre.
Ages in 30% Aged in oak, 70% concrete vats.
Medium-bodied, pure and elegant. It offers plenty of plum, blueberry, spring flowers and peppery notes. Beautifully textured, enjoy it over the coming 6-7 years.
Pair with with duck (roasted or grilled) as well as any grilled vegetables (eggplant, zucchini).
The vineyard stretches over the plateau of scrubland that is ideally located between the terraces of the Ouvèze (tributary of the Rhone) and Dentelles de Montmirail, and constitutes pebbles soil debris of Dentelles de Montmirail and clay.
Traditional winemaking, temperature controlled fermentation.
"Mostly Grenache (there’s 30% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre), the 2017 Vacqueyras Château Mazane offers classic ripe cherry and darker berry fruits as well as plenty of garrigue, pepper, violets, and earthy aromas and flavors. It stays straight and focused on the palate, with plenty of concentration and structure, and is going to keep for 8-10 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (September 2019, Southern Rhône Part 2: 2017 & 2018 from Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Cairanne, and Rasteau), 91+ pts
Alain Jaume Rasteau Les Valats is made from 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre planted on clay and stones based soil.
Located in the northern part of the Vaucluse, the soils are mostly on slopes with limestone and rocks, at medium altitude (until 350 meters).
Grapes usually ripeness in late September. The soils are poor and the Mediterranean climate allows to produce concentrated and well balanced grapes. The place is well-known for producing wines with strong identity.
From the Cotes du Rhone Villages classification, RASTEAU has been upgraded to Cru level since the 2009 vintage.
The wine shows a deep red garnet color and a nose 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 and mineral notes. Complete and authentic.
"A blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah, the 2017 Rasteau Les Valats is a classic example of this terroir and offers a darker, smoky, earthy, and chocolaty vibe as well as a rich, mouthfilling style on the palate. Nicely balanced, with a fleshy, expansive mid-palate and great tannins, it’s total charmer to enjoy over the coming 7-8 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (October 2020), 90 pts
Antica Vigna Valpolicella Ripasso DOC Superiore is made from 50% Corvina, 45% Rondinella and 5% Merlot.
Ripasso Superiore DOC is an elegant and refined wine, showing a beautiful and intense ruby color. Spicy, with cherry hints and wild berries notes, it features great personality and complexity. In the palate it is rich, very fruity, elegant and still young but already very well-orchestrated, with the typical notes of wild berries that blend well with the complexity of the wine.
20% in steel· 80% in wood for 6 months of which 2/3 in American and French barriques, half of which are used for the second and third time 1/3 in large barrels
Fermentation time: about 7/10 days the first and 15 days the second.
Fermentation: at a controlled temperature of 18/20° and second fermentation on the skins of Amarone at 18/20°C.
Vinification: soft crushing of destemmed grapes to obtain Valpolicella.
Drying: the grapes are not dried but vinified fresh.
Harvest: mid-September with manual harvesting of the grapes.
VINIFICATION AND AGENG:
Vineyard management: sustainable agriculture and great attention to natural cycles
Vine density: 4,000 to 5,400 vines per hectare
Vine planting year: from 1972 to 2009
Vineyard training system: guyot and pergola
Soil type: limestone
Height: 350/400 meters asl
Geographical location: Tenuta di Mezzane, Tenuta di Cazzano di Tramigna
Pairs well with grilled and roasted meats, as well as cheese.
Michael David Winery Gluttony Old Vine Zinfandel is made from 100 percent Zinfandel.
This region produces some of California’s biggest and burliest Zinfandels that pull no punches, all too fitting characteristics for this wine. The grapes for this wine come from a 5 acre, 90 year old dry farmed Zinfandel hilltop vineyard off Ridge Road in Amador County, near Sutter Creek. Farmer Jon Murrill oversees the vineyard and does much of the farming himself.
TASTING NOTES This burly Zin is worth the indulgence. Deep purple in color, our 2017 Gluttony Zinfandel opens with tempting notes of pomegranate, ripe berry and hickory on the nose. Bold and booming flavors of plum, boysenberry and spice stand out while the extended barrel aging and mild tannins lend to a lush, lingering finish.
Grand Veneur Cotes Du Rhone Les Champauvins is made of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre
Intense, brilliant garnet-red colour. It reveals lovely fruit, loads of body and a heady bouquet of ground peppers, raspberries cherry liqueur, currants, and spice box. Full-bodied and dense, it tastes more like a "baby Châteauneuf" than a Côtes du Rhône.
A complete wine, rich and elegant, thanks to the harmony of all the elements which make it up.
Drink between 1 and 6 years.
Soil type DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR “Les Champauvins” stretches on 34 ha classified in Côtes du Rhône. The plots are located in the northern border of Châteauneuf du Pape, exactly from 3 meters outside the appellation. A small lane of rocks going through the rocky plateaux has been decided to be the AOC limit in 1936. Here, soils are made of red clay and rocks (pebbled stones of quartz). The quantity of rocks can be amazing as they can completely cover the soil (see picture). In summer and during the day, the rocks temperature will increase to 55°C. This accumulated heat will be get back to the vines during nights . Day after day, this unique phenomenon allow the grapes to reach a perfect maturity and produce a unique wine. Winemaking & Ageing Traditional, in stainless steel vats. Harvest crushed and destemmed. Fermentation in temperature controlled vats at 28°C. Eighteen-day vating period with “pigeage”. Grenache is aged in concrete vats, Syrah and mourvèdre in 4 years old barrelsntense, brilliant garnet-red colour. It reveals lovely fruit, loads of body and a heady bouquet of ground peppers, raspberries cherry liqueur, currants, and spice box. Full-bodied and dense, it tastes more like a “baby Châteauneuf” than a Côtes du Rhône. A complete wine, rich and elegant, thanks to the harmony of all the elements which make it up.
"The Grenache dominated (there is 30% Syrah) 2019 Côtes Du Rhône Les Champauvins is perfect for readers looking for a wine that over-delivers and won’t break the bank. A great nose of black cherries, currants, roasted garrigue, licorice, and Provençal spice notes give way to a medium to full-bodied, ripe, balanced, straight up terrific and pleasure bend Côtes du Rhône that will deliver the goods for 4-6 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (October 2020), 91-93 pts