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
Avennia Justine Red Blend 56% Grenache, 31% Mourvèdre, 13% Syrah
Justine reflects our belief that Washington is capable of producing world class blends of grape varieties traditional to the Southern Rhone region of France. The name is inspired by one of the great heroines of recent literature, who also sprung from the imagination of the Mediterranean. Dark, seductive, complex, with a chasm of depth: The Justine is a great reflection of Avennia's mission of expression, and Washington's generous terroir.
Tasting Note: Big black cherry, blackberry, hints of orange peel, fresh herbs and loam on the nose. Plush and round on the palate. Dark earthy fruits from the Mourvedre, along with citrus high notes, mountain flowers, jasmine, and savory herbs. Balanced and complex without forgetting its hedonistic roots in the Southern Rhone.
A blend of 56% Grenache, 31% Mourvèdre, 13% Syrah brought up all in older oak, the 2016 Justine offers a great core of black fruits as well as lots of peppery herbs, earth, and classic meatiness. It looks to be a great vintage for this cuvée."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 92-94 pts
An old vines Verdejo barrel fermented with a different to what we are used to in the white variety of this expression. It has a remarkable complexity resulting in smoothness and depth of a high-end white. Very suitable for cellaring.
Color: Old golden yellow color with greenish reflections.
Aromas: Complex, toasty aromas, nuts, dried fruit.
Flavors: Large, creamy, spicy, balanced and voluminous.
Manual harvest in 15 kg boxes. Inspection rigorous selection table. Certified organic farming. Full clusters, stemmed and pressed very soft, only the first run only is used. Fermentation with indigenous yeast. After fermentation the wine is aged on the lees in French oak barrels (20% new, 40% one-year-old barrel and 40% two-year-old barrels during 9 months with batonnage (stirring up the lees). Then, the wine is bottled and released only after 12 month of bottle aging.
Ossian Vides y Vinos Estate
With raw material of similar quality, Javier Zaccagnini and Ishmael Gozalo traveled to Burgundy in search of a good winemaker. There they found Pierre Millemann, which already had a strong reputation and long experience in developing large Burgundian whites. Pierre accepted the challenge and he is now in charge of the design and supervision of what this wine should be.
Under his guidance began the project with the 2005 harvest, were making two different cuvées, and fermenting the juice in Burgundian 228-liter barrels manufactured by four different coopers (all from Burgundy), with oak from three different forests, with 2 different roast. All this was intended to investigate what wood is best suited to the Verdejo grape, and endowed the wine more complexity.
The vineyards are located in the town of Nieva (Segovia). The cellar in which the project started is a small facility that is part of the old Monastery of El Parral, the twelfth century, opposite the Church, Mudejar Romanesque style, from the same era.
In short this is an old project 100% grape Verdejo 100%, 100% ungrafted, 100% organically grown, 100% fermented in oak barrels, 100% Burgundian philosophy.
The first vintage, 2005 Ossian, was bottled on October 25, 2006, yielding 12,000 bottles were put on the market in December of that year, after nine months of barrel aging and 2 months of bottle aging. Sold out in three weeks and they were awarded a 93 point score in the Penin Guide.
The project was founded on an absolutely exceptional vineyards: 9 hectares of venerable vineyards between 100 and 200 years old. This is a pre-phylloxera Verdejo since that escaped the plague because of its sandy soils.
Ossian Vides y Vinos Vineyard
The vineyards are located in the town of Nieva (Segovia province), the highest in altitude among of all the villages that are included in the D.O. Rueda, between 840 and 930 meters above sea level (150 meters in the area near the Duero River). This causes a specific climate, with higher thermal oscillations between day and night in the valley, delaying the harvest date and, finally, improving the quality of wine.
Moreover, Ossian has been certified Organic for more than seven years. The winery does not get a single chemical synthesis, or fertilizer, herbicides or fungicides of any kind. It is the oldest registered and certified organic vineyard in the D.O. Rueda.
Arzuaga Reserva is made from 95% Tempranillo, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Merlot.
Clean and bright ruby red with purple reflections. Great aromatic intensity, complex and elegant, where the compote of red fruits dominates. The palate is structured with silky, sweet tannins and a lingering finish.
Ideal with red meats (big game), roasted white meat, and blue cheese.
"Dark, glistening ruby. Powerful, oak-spiced cherry and dark berries on the highly perfumed nose, along with hints of candied rose, vanilla and licorice. Juicy and penetrating on the palate, offering intense blackberry, cherry-vanilla and spicecake flavors that become livelier as the wine opens up. At once rich and lively, showing excellent clarity, solid dark fruit thrust and polished tannins on the persistent finish. - Josh Raynolds"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (February 2021), 93 pts
Palacio de Fefinanes Albarino "III Ano" is made from 100 percent Albarino
The III Año shows all the expressiveness of the Albariño grape, with full nose of mature fruit and a mineral character. Complex and meaty with firm structure in the mouth, it promises a splendid evolution which will favor a long life for this elegant wine with personality.
Aged for 3 years on the lees in stainless steel tanks.
Wine is aged for a total of 6 months: 4 months in French and American Oak barrels. No new oak, only 1, 2 and 3 year old barriques. During these 4 months, wine is aged on the fine lees with frequent Batonnage (stirring of the lees) in order to get the most expressive notes from the Albarino varietal. Then, it is transfered into a stainless steel tank, which allows the oak aromas to be assimilated and integrated.
1583 is the birth date of the Viscount of Fefinanes, Gonzalo Sarmiento Valladares, builder of the Castle of Fefinanes, in Cambados. They wanted to pay tribute to their ancestor with this wine that managed to reach a perfect harmony between the fruitiness of the Albarino grape and the complexity brought by the oak aging.
Excellent with shellfish, grilled or stewed fish, white meats, poultry
"Pale yellow. An impressively complex, assertively perfumed bouquet evokes fresh orchard and citrus fruits, pungent flowers, ginger and smoky minerals. Shows outstanding depth but comes off lithe, offering sappy pear, Meyer lemon, nectarine and orange pith flavors braced by a core of juicy acidity. The mineral and floral notes drive a strikingly long, penetrating finish that echoes the pear and orange notes. - Josh Raynolds"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (June 2021), 94 pts
My Favorite Neighbor Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petite Sirah, 8% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Syrah .
What started as an homage to Stephan Asseo of L'Aventure Winery and his Bordeaux roots quickly became an obsession. Stretching wide across the Westside Hills of Paso Robles is clay soil amazingly similar to those found in Napa and Bordeaux. Today, these special sites are farmed meticulously by the farmers who have become My Favorite Neighbors. With their dedication to the land, we are able to craft a world class wine without any shortcuts or compromises. Welcome to the Neighborhood.
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is similarly deep purple/ruby-hued and has slightly more red fruits with lots of black raspberry, cassis, toasted spice, unsmoked tobacco, and incense aromas and flavors. It almost has a Margaux-like perfume and is medium to full-bodied, seamless, and wonderfully balanced on the palate. Some chalky minerality comes through with time in the glass, and it has plenty of tannins and a great finish. It’s not an over-the-top blockbuster and impresses just as much for its elegance as its richness. -Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
Pinea 17 is made from 100 percent Tempranillo
A 100% Tempranillo red wine, elegant and with a long and persistent finish. The personality of the Ribera del Duero and the passion of its craftsmen are reflected in every sip of 17.
The vines selected for the production of this wine are more than 30 years old and belong to some vineyards that are located in the highest areas of the Ribera del Duero, around 3,050 feet elevation.
The weather and the altitude of the area make our grape productions smaller than in the rest of the region, but the grapes we obtain are of higher quality and with a more concentrated flavor. These are the characteristics that demand the grape to give its best, helping us to produce a wine that reflects the personality of the Ribera del Duero.
17 celebrates the year 2017, a very important year in the life of our winery due to the major events that took place then, including the commercial debut of our flagship wine, PINEA. reflects the careful attention to detail in viticulture that characterizes our winery; by aging in American and French oak barrels for 18 months, the Tempranillo grapes express a sense of origin that is a worthy reflection of the Ribera del Duero
"17" by Pinea captures the elusive combination of intense concentration and lifted, complex aromatics that distinguishes the best Ribera del Duero wines. The lifted aromatics and elegant, supple body of "17" by Pinea is particularly appealing and a departure from the more aggressive, heavily extracted style typically found in wines from the region. To enhance the perfumed aromatics, decant for about 30 minutes before serving at a cool 60 degrees and use a Burgundy stem. Enjoy now and in the next 10-15 years with hearty dishes like lamb-chops, any kind of steak and game food and as stated by Master Sommelier Ian Cauble: "celebrate getting in on the ground floor of one of Spain's most exciting new wine ventures."
Appereance: The wine displays an opaque garnet-red core with hints of light purple at the rim.
Nose: The nose is regal and highly perfumed, expressing the classic fruit profile of Tempranillo with its own unique finesse very reminiscent of fine Burgundy. Black forest fruits, plum, and blueberry dominate with hints of light accents of vanilla, cacao nibs and cedar playing a supporting, background role.
Palate: The palate broods with fresh plum and berry compote laced with high-toned red fruits. The wine has broad shoulders, but also soft edges with chalky tannins and a lively mineral acidity driving a long and supple finish.
Bodegas Pinea, a new entry in Ribera del Duero, is off to an excellent start. Founded just this decade, their first release of their flagship wine, Pinea, was in 2017, which gave rise to the name of this wine, 17, their second label. Brimming with spice and dark fruit flavors, it’s a terrific second wine. Made entirely from Tempranillo, it’s certainly big, but not boisterous or overdone. Its depth nicely balances its 14.8 percent stated alcohol, keeping it in check. To be sure, it’s a winter kind of wine, perfect for hearty roast or a leg of lamb. This is not a before-dinner sipper. For all its power, it is not heavy or over-the-top. An uplifting raciness keeps it going throughout a meal. An attractive hint of tar-like bitterness in the finish balances its fruitiness. I just wish they’d ditch the overly heavy bottle. The wine speaks for itself.
-Michael Apstein 93 Points
Pago de Carraovejas Ribera Del Duero is made from 90% Tempranillo, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Merlot
The Pago de Carraovejas Ribera del Duero vintage marks a turning point in the history of the winery. From now on, the Crianza and Reserva are unified in this wine that focuses on the terroir and character rather than the time of aging. Its renewed label reflects the three key elements of this red: origin, soul and emotion.
Pago de Carraovejas Ribera Del Duero is made with grapes grown in the Botijas River valley, and planted between 1988 and 2011. Our work over the last 30 years has been geared to handcrafted viniculture, that puts as much care as possible into the microclimate conditions and the details. We have placed particular attention on the maintenance of the soil by plant cover that already grows spontaneously. It allows us to develop the ecosystem of the valley, which we respect scrupulously, using organic fertilizer and sulfur as the sole basis of our viticulture.
Depending on which plot they come from and the time they enter the winery, the grapes may be deposited in cold chambers to prevent oxidation and preserve the aroma. We carry out a two-part selection: first on the vine, where we choose the bunches, and then on a belt in the winery, where we remove the grapes that do meet the necessary conditions. The grapes enter the winery and are transported with the assistance of gravity. The deposits are filled slowly and gently. Depending on the characteristics that we detected when tasting the grapes, we ferment them either in stainless steel deposits or French oak barrels. For years we have worked with our own yeast that has been isolated from the vines by our team. This work is also partly responsible for the Carraovejas character.
The wine was aged in barrels for around twelve months.
"Plenty of juicy, ripe fruit with some dried-strawberry, walnut and chocolate character. Medium to full body, round tannins and a flavorful finish. Fairly straightforward. Drink now."
- James Suckling (November 2020), 90 pts
Alain Jaume Condrieu La Butte d'Or is made from 100 percent Viognier.
The wine comes from vineyards planted on hillsides and soils that are covered with granite. The east and south-east exposures offer an environment where the Viognier expresses the best of its aromatic potential. La Butte d'Or Condrieu shows a golden yellow color, a complex nose of exotic fruits and hints of apricot. The palate exhibits some brioche notes that mingle with the delicate flavors of white peach and apricot compote. This Condrieu reveals its typical racy character with a long and fine finish.
Manual harvesting of the grapes at moderate maturity to maintain a white wine with intense but balanced and fresh aromas. Fermentation on the lees at 15 ° C for 10 months in fine-grained oak barrels. 10% of new barrels maximum. Stirring of the lees once a week.
Enjoy up to 5 years with fish dishes with sauce, terrine of foie gras, veal with cream, mushrooms, soft cheeses.
Tasting Note: This very aromatic Syrah has hints of black pepper, dark berries and herbs and a bloody, earthy character on the nose. The palate is full-bodied with velvety but structured tannins and a balanced natural acidity. The finish is fresh, long and supple. Best served at 16 to 18 °C, this wine will greatly benefit from decanting when drunk within the first 3 to 5 years after bottling.
Andrea Mullineux told me that their debut 2012 Mullineux Iron Syrah has been the hardest cru to fine-tune over the years. Indeed, it has been trialed since 2005 but never bottled...until now. "We have been working hard to perfect the acidity here and it's been important to get life into the soil, getting the vineyard healthy, so that it can be picked with good acidity. Because it is dry farmed, in a space of three days, it can god from 22 to 26 Brix – so picking decision is critical," she said. It has a subtle marine influence coming through on the nose with macerated black cherries, boysenberry jam and touches of iodine. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, quite grainy tannins, very nicely poised with touches of fig and marmalade towards the slightly saline finish. This is a strong debut to form the trio of Syrah single "terroir" offerings.
"The 2013 Iron Syrah has a roundness and softness on the nose that almost belies its complexity - red berry fruit, red peppercorns, rooibos and undergrowth scents that are very well defined. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin, wonderfully savory and quite gamey, and beautifully balanced with impressive volume and sustain on the finish that you would have difficult distinguishing from a top Côte-Rôtie. This is an excellent Syrah, my only reservation being that there is a touch of heat on the finish. - Neal Martin"
- The Wine Advocate (erobertparker.com, November 2015), 93 pts
"Similar to the Schist Syrah in its weight and meatiness, the Iron Syrah offers a more elegant, immediate appeal. Dark red plum, smoked meat, and savory herbs are seamlessly integrated on a lush, juicy and firmly structured palate, finishing very very long."
- iwinereview.com (January 2016), 95 pts
La Spinona Sori Gepin Barolo is made from 100 percent Nebbiolo.
Color: Brilliant deep ruby red with garnet reflections.
Bouquet: Rich fruity bouquet with hints of violets , spice and mature berries.
Taste: Densely structured with full, complex flavors of ripened red fruits, wood and earth tones. A Huge wine of elegant proportions that become velvety and graceful with aging.
The Beruttis bought 4 hectares in 1994 in the then relatively unknown zone of Novello which lies on the confines of Monforte and Barolo. A Sorì is an entirely south-facing vineyard. This Sori lies at 230 meters. It is named for the great grandfather that started the Barbaresco vineyards. The vines are an average of 40 years old. The first vintage was the 1996.
The Spinona is a special breed of Piedmontese hunting Dog, which the Berutti’s raise. As the legend goes, this particular dog, Baica, received her place of honor on the label for an act of great heroism. She saved the Berutti’s only son from drowning in the irrigation lake when he was a baby. The son then became a veterinarian to save the dogs and later obtained a degree in agronomy to take care of the vineyards.
Brilliant deep ruby red with garnet reflections. Rich fruity bouquet with hints of violets, spice and mature berries. Densely structured with full, complex flavors of ripened red fruits, wood and earth tones. A huge wine of elegant proportions that becomes velvety and graceful with aging.